Source: GNA - Dr Richard Asamoah-Baah, Technical Advisor, Ministry of Finance, has allayed worries that Government was in a haste to release the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to a private company on an intended concession.
He said Government was rather taking its time to confer with various stakeholders to ensure that maximum merit was achieved from the concession, before it was fully implemented in the next two or three years.
Speaking at a stakeholder sensitization workshop on the country’s power challenges in Cape Coast on Thursday, he said Government had only opted for the concession over privatisation but had not secretly signed a contract with any company, as it is being speculated.
Dr Asamoah-Baah said there would be an international competitive bidding before a company was selected for the concession, with terms of the agreement open to “robust negotiation” to protect the interests of Government.
A concession, he explained, is a negotiated contract between a Government and a private company that gives the company rights to operate a specific business within the Government’s jurisdiction under specified conditions.
The decision to release the ECG for concession is a component of a compact initiative between Government and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of United States of America, with an objective of ensuring adequate and reliable power supply to both households and industries.
Per the compact, there is the need for Government to improve the governance and management of the ECG?by bringing in a private sector operator and building infrastructure and foundation investments to reduce losses and improve service quality.
Dr Asamoah-Baah said unlike privatization, where ownership of property or business is completely transferred from the Government to the private sector, Government would have full ownership of the ECG under the concession.
He refuted speculations that Government was conniving with technocrats to sell off the ECG, adding that, Government was not considering retrenchment of ECG staff when the new company took over.
He said Government lost millions of Cedis due to the power challenges and that it was only appropriate to bring on board a partner with adequate technical and financial capacity to turn around the country’s fortunes in that sector.
He called on all stakeholders to support and make inputs to ensure the success of the concession.
Mr Ronald Kwaku Boadi, the Director of Information Communication Technology (ICT) of the ECG, said the concession would not immediately end the current power outage (Dumsor) but it was an arrangement to build a system of sustainable power supply.
He said the current problem was not mainly the distribution and transmission of power but it was with the generation due to increasing consumption, adding that, efforts are being made to find a lasting solution to the problem.
During an open forum, various stakeholders made up of traditional leaders, civil servants, Metropolitan, Municipal Chief Executives and a cross section of the public raised concerns about effects the current power crisis has had on productivity.
Other concerns were on faulty and old wiring, especially on public buildings that needed to be changed to prevent fire outbreaks, effective operation of the prepaid system and the need for Government to tread cautiously with the intended concession.
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