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Jackson: US gov’t not advocating ECG privatisation

The United States government is not advocating the privatisation of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) under the compact two of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) as being speculated in the local media, US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson has said.

He has explained that what the US government is seeking to do with the ECG under the MCA compact two is to bring in the private sector to help ECG with innovative ideas that would assist the company.

“I have been using every opportunity to be clear that what we want is to help ECG to be successful. To do that we believe we need to bring in a private operator with innovative ideas that would assist the company. But we are not supporting , we have not advocated, we do not advocate the privatization of ECG, ECG will continue to be a public utility owned by the people of Ghana and it would be operated for the people of Ghana that is the key point of the Millennium Challenge Corporation,” he clarified.

The Government of Ghana in its quest to restructure and streamline the operations of the power provider, ECG, disclosed it is going to allow for private sector participation to allow the national power distributor to make profit and provide quality of service to its clients.

There were assertions that the government is privatising the ECG but the US Ambassador rejected those claims.

The Public Utilities Workers’ Union (PUWU) has expressed skepticism about government’s insistence that ECG is not being privatised. The Union insists that privatisation is in two forms, giving up ownership or giving up control. The PUWU has, therefore, urged the government to consider listing the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) on the Ghana Stock Exchange to revamp the company.

According to them, this decision will help the national power distributor to raise funds to run its operations in the country. But the US Ambassador argues that the terms of the compact project two is to allow for private sector participation to deal with the inefficiencies in the power sector.

“The plan is to make this company more efficient, more viable financially because it is so heavily indebted at this point; and to put in place a contract for a private management for the next 25 years in order to ensure that the next generations of Ghanaians have reliable power. After the 25 years it is up to the government and the people of Ghana to decide on what to do,” Mr Jackson told Citi FM on Thursday.

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