Stop demonising ECG, engage workers – ISODEC to gov’t

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm May 17, 2017 05:49

Stop demonising ECG, engage workers – ISODEC to gov’t

A policy analyst at the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) says the Energy Minister exhibited bad faith when he took on the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) over its negative balance sheet.

Dr Steve Manteaw says anger showed by the Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU) over the consistent demonisation of the ECG by the Minister is justified.

The analyst, who mediated on issues between government and ECG workers, said the Energy should have been minded about his utterances.

Mr Agyarko told a group of media personnel and officials of Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) after the inauguration of a seven-member ECG PSP Stakeholders’ Committee in Accra that the growing debt stock at the ECG was worsening by the day.

“What happens to the balance? You look at their inventory and they have 20 years’ supply of spares parts. You have locked up that money in spares parts that would be obsolete,” he said.

The Minister further observed that “ECG’s debt accumulation on a monthly basis is GHS66 million…every month, they add GHS66 million to their cost. And if this happens in the next five years, what prevents the EOCO from laying you off?”

The PUWU in reaction expressed shock and regret at what they described as an “unfortunate” statement by Mr Agyarko as captured in the May 15 edition of the Daily Guide newspaper.

Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko

A statement by PUWU General Secretary, Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi Tuesday, said, “the Minister’s assertion that ECG’s debt stock appears to be worsening by the day due to its faulty metering system and avoidable employee recklessness is not supported by the facts.”

“We want to state that as the Sector Minister, we expect him to provide strategic direction and policy guidelines for the Company, and not to descend into these minor operational areas which the Management of the Company can easily deal with.

“There are bigger issues to make the Company operate efficiently, and we thought that these are the issues which should occupy the mind and attention of the Minister,” PUWU said.

But Mr Manteaw said he would have wished the Energy Minister did not go down the trajectory which he considers unfortunate.

“It is rather unfortunate for the Minister to demonise ECG the way he did, either deliberately or inadvertently and ignoring government’s complicity in the challenges ECG faces.”

He said the Minister’s comments undermines the progress made with all stakeholders for the reform of the ECG. He explained the Minister “spoke half truth,” adding the balance sheet of the company is not negative GHS2.1 billion.

“So the argument is that if government is to make good its promise to ECG the health of ECG balance sheet will be restored, but he deliberately ignored that aspect,” he said.

Dr Manteaw said the President Akufo-Addo is very much concerned about the concession and he has facilitated negotiations which the Energy Minister is leading “so going out of your way to speak like that and demonise workers, you undermine the work done.”

Source: myjoyonline.com

Lorlornyofm
By Lorlornyofm May 17, 2017 05:49
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