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Winston’s Take: ECG workers against privatisation

ECG demo
Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU) has told the government that Ghana does not need private participation in the electricity sector.
The workers argue that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) needs a competent managing director and no political interference. A leader who has clearly stated the key performance indicators. The union has made a great point and we should listening them.
Over the years we have had Managing Directors of many state owned enterprises appointed just because of their political affiliation. These workers are calling for a competent person without any political affiliation and this is very important because we need to get someone who knows he is there to perform a certain task and not to favor any political party. This is what we should be doing because if we want to transform electricity or the power sector then what we need is a competent managing directors. I support the workers wen the say ECG should be listed on the Stock Exchange. Electricity is a natural monopoly. While I support the need for competition, I do not support the plan to give ECG on concession for 25 year. We cannot leave our Electricity needs in the hands of a profit seeking private company. If it is competition we want, we can get others to provide similar services. This is a monopoly so we can’t leave it in the hands of a private profit seeking company.
After listing on the stock exchange, Goil is doing well in a competitive sector. Goil always makes sure that in a petroleum pricing window they reduce their prices and then the other companies follow. This is competition but even in this instance we have a state player which reduces and then others follow what does this tell us? It tells us that even in a competition a state player seeks the public interest. Why can’t we do same with ECG? Why would we transfer it into private hands under a public private partnership? With a natural monopoly you do not give it to private hands.
Do not leave the power sector in the hands of a private profit seeking company.
By Winston Amoah
The writer is the host of ‘Sunrise’ on 3FM from Monday to Friday

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