Energy expert, Kojo Poku says having private sector participation in the affairs of the Electricity Company of Ghana will help solve all its issues.

Speaking on Top Story on JoyFM, he said that it is essential that consumers get affordable and reliable electricity thus private sector participation will ensure that some of the challenges ECG is faced with are dealt with more efficiently.

“We had a brief spell of the private sector participation through PDS, and we saw a very huge improvement in the way ECG functions, the psyche of the employees and how they respond to faults and how they deal with customers. Private sector participation will address all the issues [at ECG],” Mr Poku told Ernest Manu on Wednesday.

His comment comes after the Auditor General’s report uncovered some losses at ECG. 

The Audit Report revealed that ECG lost 2,649.08 GWh, which represents 24.30% of the power purchased from the power-producing companies. The report also noted that ECG incurred expenses to the tune of ¢182,576,235.15 as a capacity charge by Cenit Energy for the 12 months in 2018.

Again, it emerged that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), between 2014 and 2016, procured prepaid meters and conductors worth ¢59million, but the machines are still locked up in the company’s warehouse.

The Auditor-General recommended that the management of ECG ensure that the pre-payment meters and conductors are issued out to the users.

However, if they fail to do so, the amount involved should be recovered from the officers who engaged in the procurement.

Reacting to the ¢59million loss, Mr Poku stated that ECG had procured the meters only to later notice that they were not up to standard.

“In procurement processes when things are ordered, they need to be inspected before they are even dispatched. I am a partner of a company that order some from the Netherlands. I travelled to Rotterdam to inspect the goods before they were shipped, that is the private sector, the public sector does things differently.”

“That is why I am saying that it is something that if things are done well, the systematic problems will be checked,” the Energy expert stated.

Mr Poku believes that taking the operations of ECG from the government and handing it over to the private sector is the way to help resolve the challenge with losses.

He explained that even though the Minister of Energy has assured private sector participation when it comes to power distribution, it is not certain when that would take place.

“There is a lot of things that happen in the public sector that can never happen in the private sector. If a private company owns this, some of the things that you read in that report will never happen,” Mr Poku added.

Meanwhile, a Policy analyst on Petroleum and Conventional Energy at ACEP, Justice Kodzo Yaotse, says the losses the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has incurred as cited by the Auditor General’s report are likely to increase.

Speaking also on the show, he said that the Auditor General’s report, which among other things revealed that procured prepaid meters and conductors worth ¢59million are still locked up in the company’s warehouse, only covers up to 2019.

He explained that the civil society organisation, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) did some work on the power distribution company and found ECG’s losses to be growing by 30%.

“It is worrying and it should even be worse by now, because, this report only covers up to 2019. So, last year a lot had happened and a lot has happened this year also. This year we know that the losses are growing up to 30% of the business that they do so, it is getting worse by the day,” Mr Yaotse told Ernest Manu on Wednesday.