Consumers have been denied service at various offices of the Electricity of Company of Ghana (ECG) as the strike declared by workers of the company enters its third day.

The aggrieved workers began a sit-down strike on Wednesday, August 24 to protest a planned privatization of the power distribution company.

Government's $500 million indebtedness which constitutes between 60-70 percent of all ECG’s debts has been identified by the Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU) as a cause of the company's financial struggles.

Despite its high indebtedness to the company, government has insisted the privatization of the ECG will improve efficiency after persistent public dissatisfaction about the quality of service.

Related: Prepare for a possible ECG privatisation – Prez Mahama

Think tank group, IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, has led calls for privatization of at least 50 percent of the power distribution company.

The group said privatisation would bring about competition in the sector which will, in turn, bring about efficient service.

Related: Privatize more than 50% of ECG – IMANI Boss

But workers of the Company have vehemently opposed this move, fearing it might cause them to lose their jobs after at least five years of the concession.

They believe the privatization is part of a set of conditionalities given government by the United States' Millennium Challenge Corporation.

ECG demo

Some workers at the Koforidua office of ECG

After series of demonstrations, the workers threatened to plunge the nation into darkness on Friday, August 26 as part of their protest.

Some consumers who visited the ECG office at Avenor, in Accra were left unattended to while the workers demonstrated outside the premises.

"I have come all the way from Abeka to purchase prepaid credit and I saw them demonstrating outside. I was so surprised and I did not know they were on strike…they have not said anything to me yet and it is frustrating," a dissatisfied consumer told Joy News.

Joy News' correspondents across the regions reported similar incidents at the various regional offices.

One of the workers who spoke with Joy News' Central Regional correspondent, Richard Kojo Nyarko said "This should be the concern of all Ghanaians and not ECG workers alone. I am not fighting for myself alone. Ghanaians should rise up and say no to this move."

Meanwhile, government has expressed shock at the action taken by the workers.

Related: Jinapor accuses ECG workers of breach of trust

Deputy Minister for Power John Jinapor said the grievances of the ECG workers was addressed during a meeting between leaders of the workers' union and the ministry.



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