ECG privatization process suffers another delay

Attempts by government to get a concessionaire to take over the operations of the Electricity Company of Ghana(ECG) under the power compact two may take a little longer than expected.

Citi Business News understands that the situation is due to concerns by key stakeholders over inadequate consultation in the process.

Per the calendar for the ECG private sector participation, the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) should  have held its second Bidders Conference to assemble all six concessionaries who have shown interest in taking over the operations of the ECG.

However information gathered by Citi Business News indicates that the conference which was scheduled for August could not come off and that may not be so even within the coming days.

This had been triggered by a counter motion raised by the Coalition of ECG Concession Arrangement (COSECA), a group comprising civil society groups such as Imani Ghana and the Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU), among others.

Citing Article 7.1 of the agreement, the coalition argued that the provision which allows for the implementation process not to be subjected to the laws of Ghana, restricts government and gives the investors, the US government, through the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), too much powers.

Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil blames MIDA for the development. According to him, the authority has failed to give key stakeholders a hearing, despite promptings on the possible implications of the current provision.

“The option not to talk is not the best,” he said adding that “They[ECG workers] can choose to be gentlemen and go to court over the redundancy agreement… or choose to hit the streets,” he hinted.

It is interesting to note that this is not the first time an attempt to organize a conference for the six concessionaires have faced serious challenges.

Indeed, the first conference delayed for several weeks, resulting in the Millennium Challenge Corporation warning the government through the United States Embassy that Ghana risks losing almost 200 million dollars from the estimated500 million dollars earmarked to support the compact.

The Chief Executive Officer of MiDA, Ingineer Owura Safo at the first bidders’ conference assured that the authority will undertake broader consultation to get the concerns of all stakeholders.

Background

Under the Ghana Power Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the United States government is expected to provide a grant of Four Hundred and Ninety Eight Million, Two Hundred Thousand  while a concessionaire injects 500 million dollars into the ECG.

Source: citifmonline.com