Fast track ECG privatization – US Ambassador
The United States Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson, has asked government to speed up the processes for the privatisation of the Electricity Company of Ghana [ECG], which he said has delayed.
He said although a lot of progress have been made in the move that has received strong rejection and criticism, there is still more for the government to do to finalise it.
“We have acheived many milestones over the past three months…however, there is still more that must be done,” he told participants at the sixth Partnership for Growth Joint Steering Committee meeting in Accra Wednesday, TV3’s Catherine Frimpongmaa reported.
Currently, Ghana is yet to give approval for the Gas Master Plan as well as release the request for proposal for the ECG concession to end the processes leading up to the privatisation.
Per the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account signed by the Government in August 2014, the ECG is set to be leased to a private company for up to 30 years, with the aim of improving ECG’s creditworthiness to enable it acquire additional generation capacity from IPPs without or with limited recourse to government guarantees.
However, the decision has been widely criticised by many experts and individuals including the workers of the company who are under the Public Utility Workers Union of the Trades Union Congress.
At this year’s May Day celebration in Wa, President Mahama allayed the fears of the agitating workers, saying “let me restate ECG is and will remain a wholly owned state enterprise” despite private participation, which he explained, is to leverage the private sector participation.
The Compact is set to bring into the country close to 500 million dollars, and according to Mr Jackson, the Compact was expected to have come into force March this year but Ghana missed the date.
“The citizens of Ghana are waiting to benefit from this compact,” he said and urged Ghana not to let “this opportunity slip away”. He asked that the necessary processes are put in place to ensure they meet the June 2016 target to get the Compact’s entry into force.
Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, in an interview with TV3 admitted to the need for the processes to be fastened, Frimpongmaa reported.