The Public Utilities and Workers Union says changes made by the Akufo-Addo government to the controversial Power Compact Agreement under the Millenium Challenge Account Compact II are “quite impressive” but do not still address their germane concerns.
The General Secretary of PUWU, Michael Nyantakyi said whilst the union is not necessarily against the compact agreement, they would rather a better arrangement is adopted instead of a concessionaire.
His comments come hours after the first bidders conference was held Tuesday to ascertain which concessionaire takes over the management of Ghana’s electricity distributor.
Six private concessionaires are pitching to take over the management of ECG for at least years 20 years under a Compact II agreement worth over $498 million
Under the previous Mahama agreement the new concessionaire was to manage the facility for 25 years with 51% per cent share to the private investor.
There was also a controversial issue about involuntary layoffs of workers, five years after the agreement has come into force.
The workers agitated over the details of the agreement, particularly the involuntary layoffs, a development which forced the Mahama government to suspend the bidders conference.
The suspension did little to help the fortunes of the NDC in the December election. It lost to the Akufo-Addo regime.
On assuming office, the new administration has instituted some changes including making ECG the majority share owner of the company.
Government will now own 51% of the shares under the new agreement.
Addressing patrons at the bidders conference, Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko said the new concessionaire will be required to manage and carryout some investment when it takes over the ECG.
“The government is not privatizing the ECG,” he said adding, the ECG will still own the assets of the company but will lease them out to the concessionaire for a period of 20 years.
Reacting to the Bidders Conference PUWU General Secretary said government has already signed the compact II and PUWU has no problem with that.
He was quick to add though that instead of the concession, govt should have looked at other modules of managing ECG.
Michael Nyantakyi said government should have looked areas where ECG had challenges, opt for a joint venture with the private investor to solve those specific challenges rather than choosing a concessionaire to takeover completely the management of ECG.
He said government is part of the problem, insisting if the government had paid its debt, perhaps the power distributor would not have gotten into the situation it finds itself now.
The PUWU General Secretary however wants the government to include every detail of the changes made in the old agreement to the new one that will be signed with the concessionaire.