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Don’t privatise ECG - ISODEC

April 5, 2017, 4:35 p.m.

Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) says it still maintain its stance against a government decision to privatise the Ghana Electricity Company (ECG), since such transfers had not benefitted the country.

ISODEC is against Ghana Power Compact II deal, which seeks to hand over the country’s power system that is currently in a crisis to the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to support the energy sector.

Dr. Steve Manteaw, ISODEC Member, argued that the electricity company was in a mess, not because of just poor management, rather due to state agencies owing its huge sums of money, and various governments interfering in its day-to-day administration.

The ISODEC member made the statement when commenting on a communiqué developed by the Coalition Stakeholders Consultative Forum on the Concession Arrangement under the Millennium Challenge Compact II, last Thursday, in Accra.

He said if the country does not reverse its decision of total transfer of ECG to a private investor, the citizens should expect worse conditions, just as it was under Aqua Vitens Rand Limited.

Though the Coalition did not condemn the privatisation of EGC outright, it, however, pointed out some contractual errors that ought to be corrected, in order to prevent the country from becoming worse after the private takeover.

Last Thursday, a stakeholder consultative forum on the ECG brought players in the power sector, such as Trade Union Congress (TUC), Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC), Energy Commission, WACAM, ACEP, Consumer Protection Society, ISODEC, MIDA, and Ministry of Energy and Parliamentary Select Committee on Energy, to dialogue and brainstorm to develop a communiqué on various aspects on the concession arrangement.

The communiqué was purposed to assist the government to make informed decisions on how to resolve the challenges that are inherent in the Compact II.

The communiqué covers important areas like role of regulator, legal issues, general overview and recommendation and local content.

The Convener of the group, Richard Nyamah, pointed out that Article 7 (1) of the concession arrangement has regrettably sold Ghana’s sovereignty to the MCC, because of the stabilisation clause which is a blanket provision that can be interpreted anyway.

He, however, blamed Parliament for the passage of the Compact II bill under the certificate of urgency, without knowing what they were ratifying.

He urged Ghanaians not to be worried, because the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), under the Article 7(1), has powers to do anything, as it once developed tariff methodology, electricity distribution and sale licensing for the PURC and Energy Commission respectively.

Mr. Nyamah also had issues with the manner at which the International Financial Corporation (IFC), which serves as transaction advisor to MiDA, was meddling in the privatisation of the ECG.