14 September 2016

Ghana likely to move from ‘dumsor’ to ‘dumdaa’ – MiDA

In this photo taken Wednesday Sept. 2015 a woman uses candle light as she sells fruit on a sidewalk in Harare, Zimbabwe. The normal rains did not fall, which caused water levels to drop in dams that produce electricity, so local people and businesses across Zimbabwe and Zambia are suffering power black-outs for up to 48-hours at a time.  Some traditional chiefs blame an angry river god, but the government blames the lack of rain, and work to expand the Kariba power station will not be complete for at least three years, said Partson Mbiriri, permanent secretary in Zimbabwe’s ministry of energy and power development. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has urged Ghanaians to support the decision of government to privatize the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Reform Unit Manager at MiDA, Michael Awuah, says a successful privatization of Ghana’s power distributor will guarantee stable power supply in the country.

Speaking at a forum to discuss the privatization of ECG, Mr Awuah said innocent lives have been lost because of the erratic nature of power in the country.

Recounting some of the incidents, Mr Awuah said a lady who resided in Tema died because she tried to keep her mobile phone charged because of the unreliability of the power. This lady was later found dead with her mobile phone on top of her, he said.

According to him, the erratic power supply popularly called ‘dumsor’ will take a turn to the worse if drastic decisions are not taken.

“We must move from the era when dumsor will be dumdaa [eternal darkness] and this must move us to say never again will we sit down,” he said.

Government has been criticised for beginning the process to privatize the nation’s power distributor.

Even though President John Mahama has blamed the unprofitability of ECG for the decision, workers of the Public Utility Workers Union have disagreed.

PUWU has argued the company is profitable. It said the current value of ECG is worth over $1.1 billion. It has urged government to pay debts it owed the company if it wants the performance of ECG to improve.

Last week the ECG workers staged a three day sit down strike protesting the decision. They believe MiDA is aiding government to sell one of the buoyant state companies.

But Mr Awuah said the process to have ECG privatised began in 1997 when government felt power supply in the country could be improved.

To achieve this end, he said “government created the Energy Commission and the Public Utility Regulatory Commission.” The status of ECG was also changed to a company limited, he said.

“This began long ago,” he said, adding it was the considered opinion of government to make power accessible and secured that led to the Compact deal signed between Ghana and the US.

“Our attitudes have been that every step on the way we support our government,” he said. This should not be any different considering the benefits Ghanaians stand to benefit.

Mr Awuah also used the opportunity to refute the claim that MiDA has chosen the concessionaire to manage ECG.

We have six companies so far and we will approve the right company based on how they will improve power supply in the country, he said.



Source: Myjoyonline.com

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