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23 July 2016

Mahama ‘sitting on’ dumsor timetable – ECG workers

mahama sitting presidentWorkers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG)  have disclosed that they have prepared a new load-shedding timetable to enable consumers plan their activities to efficiently but President John Mahama has asked the power distribution company not to publish it.

“The timetable for the current load shedding also called ‘dumsor’ is ready but the president says we should not publish it,” they indicated.

The ECG workers have therefore expressed grief over the government’s refusal to declare dumsor and allow the ECG to release the load shedding timetable. In an exclusive interview  with Daily Guide, Samuel Tetteh Agbetor, chairman of the Western Regional Workers’ Union of ECG, insisted:

“Dumsor is back and government should be bold enough to allow ECG to announce the timetable for load shedding.” Mr. Agbetor pointed  out that the current situation is alarming as most businesses are collapsing and many workers being laid off because of the energy problem.

He was not happy that the energy crisis has been blamed on ECG, adding  that the sector consists of three segments – generation, transmission and distribution. “I work at the distribution sector which is ECG,

” Mr Agbetor underscored. He mentioned that the public blame ECG workers whenever there is an energy crisis because they pay tariffs directly to the power distribution company.

“We have served our customers with commitment and dedication all these years, and whenever there are challenges we come out to publish a timetable to enable people plan their businesses”

he stated. According to him, left to the workers of ECG alone, the timetable would have been published but they could not fathom why the government is preventing the company from publishing it. Mr Agbetor told the Daily Guide that the current energy problem has to do with generation by the Volt River Authority (VRA) adding that ” we the staff of ECG will not sit down to be blamed or allow anyone to put our lives in jeopardy.”

ECG privatisation  The Regional Union chairman noted that the government’s reason for the proposed sale of ECG to an American company, that the power distribution company is inefficient  and could not collect its bills is false.

“If we have enough generation capacity, we would not have transmission and distribution problem and so the ECG can’t be blamed,” he pointed out. He asserted that the sale of ECG is part of the conditions of the Millenium Challenge Account, which is a development assistance programme from the United States of America.

“If President Mahama say he is not incompetent, why can’t he manage ECG but has decided to sell it?

After Ghana Water Ghana Company was given to Aqua Vitens Rand to manage, the company has not been able to achieve much,” he indicated. NPP wants ‘dumsor’ timetable The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), wants government to release a load shedding timetable immediately.

The NPP, in a statement signed by its Director of Communications, Nana Akomea, said a schedule is needed to allow businesses to plan.

“Ghanaians have been suffering a patterned load shedding over the last few months. Government’s refusal to acknowledge it and publish a schedule has meant that consumers and industry cannot plan, thus imposing uncertainty on the Ghanaian consumer in the midst of dumsor.”

Dumsor is not back President John Mahama recently acknowledged that there were challenges with power supply in the country but stopped short of declaring that it marked a return to load-shedding.

We are not declaring load shedding; I believe things will normalize but we are taking steps everyday to ensure that Ghana has security when it comes to power,” he emphasized.

The Power Ministry echoed the president’s comments stating that the current power outages are as a result of temporary difficulties caused by the delay in the supply of light crude among other things.

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