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New MiDA Board must be open-minded about ECG - PUWU urges

The General Secretary of the Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU) says they are waiting for the opportunity to sit down with the Nana Akufo-Addo government to discuss the issue of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) concession.

Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi said they are praying that the new board that has been inaugurated would be very open-minded not to only the Millennium Compact but also issues surrounding the private sector participation in ECG.

Government is yet to state clearly its position on the private sector participation in the operation of the power distributor.

This is deemed a key condition before Ghana can access the $560 million Millennium Challenge Account. The Compact Two is aimed at bringing in a concessionaire to manage ECG for 25 years, a move the ECG staff are against. 

But the General Secretary said that is not the best option with respect to the time frame of 25 years which is too long and takes all of ECG's equipment and network which have a lifespan of 25 years. 

"At the end of the day, what is the concessionaire going to hand over to you when they are leaving? Also, with the private entity looking at profit, there would be a hike in pricing. 

"We have always indicated that our position that the way the transaction has been structured with respect to the concession is what we think that the provisions and conditions are not in the interest of Ghana and Ghanaians," he added. 

There was no conclusion about the deal under the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government. On Monday, President Akufo-Addo inaugurated an 11-member board to oversee activities of the Millennium Challenge Account. 

According to the President, the second compact “has the specific goal of enabling us to overcome one of the major challenges we have in the development of our country, that is the flow of reliable, stable power, both for our economic and personal development. It is a very critical intervention the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is making in the life of our country.”

The MCC will invest up to $498.2 million to transform Ghana’s power sector and stimulate private investment. The aim of the five-year Ghana Power Compact is to create a financially viable power sector to meet the current and future needs of households and businesses, and to help fight poverty across the country

To this end, President Akufo-Addo charged the newly sworn-in Board “to make sure that the objectives of the compact are achieved. The 11-members of this board, who have the voting rights, bear the principal responsibility for ensuring that the objectives of the MiDAare achieved.”

On the matter of the “private solution to the development of the Electricity Company of Ghana”, President Akufo-Addo noted that, “we (government) believe it is necessary for us to have a look at what is on the table and make sure that the various challenges that are there for the forward progress of the compact, involving the manner of ECG’s role, are resolved.”

The President assured that “hopefully, very soon, government’s take on how we go forward (with ECG) will be out. Our interest is making sure that this compact, which we have adhered to, is implemented, and that it is successfully implemented, so that the people of Ghana will benefit from this exercise, and that is why we have gone into it.”