The successful renegotiation by government of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Private Sector Participation (PSP) compact of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to ensure 51 per cent local ownership is a good move, the Executive Director of the Kumasi Institute for Energy and Environment (KITE-Ghana), Ishmael Agyekumhene, has said.
President Akufo-Addo, addressing workers at the May Day parade at the Independence Square on Monday, disclosed that in addition to ensuring that more than half of the concession would be in Ghanaian hands, the government had been able reduce the duration of the concession to 20 years, from the initial 25.
“Government has amended the terms of the concession agreement to require that one, Ghanaians own at least 51 per cent of the concession. Two, there should be no involuntary layoffs as a result of the concession,” Mr Akufo-Addo said.
Mr Akufo-Addo, concerned about the period of concession, emphasised that the review would ensure that “the term of the concession will be reduced from 25 years to 20 years”.
According to him, “these amendments meet the aspiration of Ghanaians in protecting the jobs of workers and ensuring the control and viability of ECG”.
Following this revelation, Mr Agyekumhene has praised the move, saying he was initially sceptical of the possibility of the deal being renegotiated.
“Until this administration came into office, I thought the concession was a done deal because it was part of the compact agreement… I was not even sure there would be room for negotiation. So if the government has been successful in making some changes to the terms of the concession, I think it’s a step in the right direction,” he told Chief Jerry Forson on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM on Tuesday May 2.
Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU) has expressed its unhappiness with government for renegotiating the terms without its input. Mr Agyekumhene, in response, however said the union should be “grateful” to the government following the outcome of the renegotiation.
He, nonetheless, said government would need to further ease the fears of ECG by clarifying if the assurance by the president that there would be no involuntary retrenchment of ECG staff holds for only the first five years of the agreement, as communicated by the previous government, or is for good.