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Workers Union calls for dialogue on ECG privatisation

Business and Economics

Accra, April 6, GNA – The Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU) of the Trade Union Congress, Ghana has called on government to expedite action on the proposed dialogue with key stakeholders on the planned concession arrangement of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

   The dialogue will solicit ideas that will sufficiently affect the positive decisions that will inure to the benefit of the citizenry in the country.

   Mr Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi, the General Secretary of the PUWU, told the GNA in an interview that the long delay on the part of government concerning the consultation process created the impression that the President was dragging his feet on the issue.

   He said the Union was opposed to the handing over of ECG to a private entity for 25 years.

  The Union was also against the single concession, which was tantamount to creating a virtual private monopoly in the electricity distribution.

  He said the concessionaire, would not have any commitment to the social dimension of ECG’s operations, which would adversely affect rural electrification and undermine government’s ‘one district, one factory’ agenda.

  He said Ghana was to receive a grant of US 498.2 million to revamp the energy sector and a major condition precedent for the assessment of the grant was the private sector participation in the ECG.

  He said the President promised that he would undertake consultation with stakeholders including labour, before the decision on the ECG privatisation.

  He said three months into his administration; the Union believed that it was time for concrete actions to be taken for the proposed dialogue to be initiated with the labour front and other stakeholders on the Private Sector Participation in ECG.

 “As far as we are concern for government to pay all the indebtedness to ECG and hand over the company to the private investor is more or less akin to ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul,’” he added.

  He urged Ghanaians not to lose sight of the dangerous potential of Article 7.1 of the Millennium Challenge Compact II, which seeks to override the laws of Ghana and by extension; the private investor would not be bound by the tariff guidance set by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission.

  Mr Adumatta Nyantakyi said government had a choice between one that satisfied the profit motive of the foreign investor or that which would in the ling-term help contribute money to the consolidated fund.

 Also, it is a choice between an option that would lead to repatriation of profit from Ghana as against an option that profits would be retained in the country, he added.

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