"The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), which is spearheading the execution"
The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), which is spearheading the execution of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Second Compact that is meant to restructure the power sector, has said there will be no job-losses at the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
“We do not anticipate any job-losses. We are talking about partial privatisation; ECG is not being sold. We are only inviting the private sector to come in to participate and share with government in managing ECG,” Mawunyo Robson, a Power Consultant at MiDA, told the B&FT.
The second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), which comes into force this June, could see Ghana draw up to US$498.2million to transform, mainly, the power distribution sector and make it more viable.
The ECG is supposed to be the largest beneficiary of the funds, on condition that it partners “an internationally reputable power distribution utility”, which has led to fears that privatising the company will lead to massive job-losses.
A total of US$339.6million will be committed to what has been christened the “ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround Project”.
According to Mawunyo Robson, due to the premium MiDA places on the welfare of ECG’s workers, it will prioritise preventing job-losses; but in the event such losses become inevitable, affected workers will be very well compensated.
“The well-being and welfare of employees are very key to the whole business of ECG, so whoever is coming on board will ensure as far as possible preventing losses -- but should there be any, whoever is affected will be duly compensated,” he added.
The Power Consultant said implementation of the MCA Compact II is very crucial to businesses, particularly at a time instability in power supply has led to companies having to cut down on production or incur additional operational costs by running on fuel plants.
The focus on power distribution rather than generation, Mr. Robson said, is to ensure that losses (commercial and technical) within the sector are reduced, making ECG a viable organisation.
“The idea is that they are the final off-takers of power from the producers. At this point in time, we are talking about more independent power producers (IPPs) coming on board in order to increase generation; but if they are not assured of their revenue streams, if ECG is not a credible off-taker, then we have a problem and we are never going to get them on board. That is why it is critical to focus on the distribution sector and make it healthy enough, financially viable so that IPP's can feel comfortable to come on board,” he explained.
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