Deputy Finance Minister, Mona Quartey is confident private sector participation in the operations of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) will lead to greater efficiency and financial independence.
ECG’s privatization is part of the conditions that Ghana must meet before it starts accessing a 500 million dollar Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) funds from the US government.
Many people and groups have kicked against the decision.
The Public Utility Workers Union and Public Services Workers Union are strongly against an ECG privatization.
In a document sighted by Joy News, the groups said that private sector participation could spell doom for rural electrification because the MCC does not consider it profitable.
They insist that the power distributor’s problem is not its ability to attract funding but failure of government to pay its bills revealing that government’s indebtedness to the ECG stands at 1.2 billion Ghana cedis.
However, speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Friday, Ms Quartey said challenges facing ECG, particularly the collection of bills and technical losses, will be addressed once the private sector starts operation.
“Over the years we have slacked and had problems with efficiency and I know that sometimes that is why people get a little irritated when we want to increase the tariffs to be able to cover cost.
“This time government is looking at private sector participation, therefore ECG’s operations have to be efficient and it is for this reason that we are now looking at private sector participation in the operations and management, not the ownership so that they can build correctly they can collect the revenue and use it to pay the VRA which has been starved of money, pay GRIDCo who carries the power,” she said.
She believes every player in the power value chain must be paid, however, because ECG has not been efficient in billing and collecting revenue that has not happened.