The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) staff in the Central region has joined their counterparts across the country to register their displeasure about the move by the Government to release the company on concession.
The two-hour peaceful protest on Thursday was in commemoration of this year’s United Nations’ World Public Service Day which highlighted the contribution of public services in the development process of the nation.
Clad in red, the workers converged at the Regional Office of the company in Cape Coast while chanting: “We can manage ECG, just give us better resources and pay us our debts.”
According to the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account signed by the Government in August 2014, the ECG was set to be leased to a private company for up to 25 years.
Among the reasons for the concession are that it would ensure reliable power supply for domestic and industrial use, improve transparency and independence in the setting of regulated tariffs by the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission, and improve ECG’s credit worthiness to enable it acquire additional generation capacity without, or with limited alternative to Government assurances.
However, the decision has been extensively condemned by experts, staff of ECG, members of the Public Utility Workers Union of the Trades Union Congress and scores of the general public.
Mr Samuel Martey, the Divisional Secretary, Senior Staff Union of ECG, Central Region, who interacted with the media on the sidelines of the demonstration, called on Ghanaians to show much concern about the move and speak against it.
He described the protest as a ‘small signal’ to Ghanaians that the ECG staff members are not in support of the concession arrangement.
Mr Martey said the concession would have negative effects on the consumers and that they would even pay more for electricity than they were paying now.
He said Ghanaians would have themselves to blame if they sat unconcerned for the Government to proceed with the planned concession.
He said the objective that the Government sought to achieve with the concession could be achieved without giving the ECG to a foreign company if the right things were done.
Mr Adu Boateng, the Chairman of the Junior Staff Union of ECG, Central Region, said there were no success stories about the concessions in the world and cited Uganda as one of the countries paying high electricity bills after that move.
He called on the Government to rescind its decision since majority of Ghanaians were not in support of it.