A Power Consultant at the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has guaranteed that there will be no job losses at the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) during the execution of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Second Compact (Compact 2).
“We do not anticipate any job losses. If we are talking about partial privatisation, ECC is not being sold. We are only inviting the private sector to come in to participate and share with government in managing ECG,” Mawunyo Robson, a Power Consultant at MiDA said.
MiDA is the supervisor for the execution of the Second Compact. The Compact which comes into force this June 2015 would see Ghana drawing up to US$498.2 million to restructure its power sector - focusing both on power generation and distribution. A total of US$339.6 million will be committed to what has been named the ‘ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround Project’.
Even though the ECG would be the largest beneficiary of the Compact on condition that it partners ‘an internationally reputable power distribution utility’, this has led to fears that privatising the company will lead to massive job losses.
Mawunyo Robson, however cleared the air, saying due to the premium MiDA places on the welfare of ECG's workers, it will work at preventing job losses; but in the event where workers of the company lose their jobs, they would be well compensated accordingly.
"The well-being and welfare of employees are very key to the whole business of ECG, so whoever is coming on board will ensure as far as possible preventing losses - but should there be any, whoever is affected will be duly compensated," Mr Robson affirmed.
Mr Robson said it was critical to invite the private sector to transform the ECG. He noted that bringing the private sector on board would ensure that level of efficiency ECG needs. “If we are able to get a very competent private entity to run ECG, the issues about collection and technical losses would be resolved effectively.
“ECG over the years has performed quite well. But they are running at very high technical, commercial and collection losses. This is the problem ECG has been contending with; very high losses and inefficiencies as far as operations are concerned and that is why it’s important for compact to focus on improving the finances as well as the operations of the ECG,” Mawunyo Robson explained.
Commenting on why the focus on power distribution rather than generation – considering the country’s generation shortfall, Mr Robson said the move is to ensure that commercial and technical losses within the sector are reduced, thereby making ECG a viable organisation.
“The idea is that they are the final off-takers of power from the producers. At this point in time, we are talking about more independent power producers (IPPs) coming on board in order to increase generation; but if they are not assured of their revenue streams, if ECG is not a credible off-taker, then we have a problem on hand and we are never going to get them on board.
“That is why it is critical to focus on the distribution sector; and make it healthy enough, financially viable so that IPP's can feel comfortable to come on board,” he explained.
Source: The Finder
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