A Kumasi-based policy think-tank is advocating that the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) be turned into an authority.

The Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBRE) says this will give it more powers to be able to play an effective refereeing role.

Government has proposed liberalization of the energy distributional sector by privatizing the ECG to bring efficiency and customer satisfaction.

Under the proposed concession option, management of the country’s power distributor will revert to government after 25 years.

CEBRE says such arrangement means a return to conditions that have brought about the current debate on the company’s future

The policy think-tank, therefore, recommends permanent deal for the proposed concession arrangement for Electricity Company of Ghana.

It says it will not be prudent to limit the private management period as being proposed.

Executive Director, Gordon Newlove Asamoah says private sector participation in ECG’s operation must be more meaningful.

“There is no point to let somebody turn a company around make it profitable and give it back to the government, which is inefficient, to mismanage it again.”

This according to him “means ECG and Ghana will go back to the problems we are facing now after some few years.”

Meanwhile, experts fear the private investor might extort from consumers with even higher bills.

However, when converted, it means the PURC will be able to oversee all the competitors that will emerge as a result of the liberalization of the sector.

This means if any of the competitors go against the regulations, then the PURC (an authority) will have the power to sanction them appropriately just as the National Communication Authority (NCA) does to the telecommunication companies.

Mr. Asamoah is optimistic customers will be protected if the PURC is made an authority. 

“Because of proper competition that will be in place everybody will find a way of being efficient and beat the price down”.

Meanwhile, CEBRE is asking government and Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) to give priority to qualified Ghanaian investors who are ready to partner to invest in ECG.