ECG workers demonstrate against planned privatisation

ECG 1Scores of workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana, (ECG) are demonstrating at their offices nationwide.

The demonstration is to protest the planned privatization of the company as the workers mark this year’s Public Service International Day.

Government says the privatisation of the ECG will improve effiency after persistent public disatisfaction about the quality of service.

But the government is highly indebted to the ECG, a $500million debt which Public Utilities Workers Union has identified as a cause of the company’s financial struggles. Government’s $500m debt to ECG constitutes between 60% to 70% of all ECG’s debts.

President John Mahama recently asked Ghanaians to prepare their minds for a possible privatization of ECG.

“You fix a situation by taking risks. It is a risk we took when we deregulated telecommunications. If you are not ready to take risks then the world is not ready to make progress”, said the President.

Think tank group, IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, has led calls for privatisation of at least 80% of the power distribution company.
The group said privatisation would bring about competition in the sector which will, in turn, bring about efficient service.

But a section of the Ghanaian public has kicked against the move, accusing government of crippling the company through political interference.
Workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana have backed calls to suspend the privatisation. They believe the privatisation is part of a set of conditionalities given government by the United States’ Millenium Challenge Corporation.

The workers in red arm bands and head gears amidst drumming and chanting of ‘jama’ songs at their various offices nationwide, ‘displayed their displeasure with the planned privatisation.

One of the workers, Ali Baba Idi told Joy News’ Beatrice Adu they are calling on government to rescind its decision.

“We have always said that the concession will not help us nor the Ghanaians in any way that is why we are doing this to support the masses who are against the move,” he said.

source: myjoyonline.com

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