The President has assured Ghanaians no staff of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) would be laid off under the second Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact programme.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said his government is taking a second look at the Compact in order to eliminate clauses that could lead to job losses.
At the May Day celebration held at the Black Star Square Monday, the President said he will ensure that the country is given a better deal under the Compact.
“Government has amended the terms of the concession agreement,” he announced.
The Ghana Power Compact signed between the MCC and Ghana government in 2014 has remained a controversial issue.
The agreement was expected to improve the management of ECG as well as open the country’s energy market to independent power producers.
Power supply in Ghana had for the last three years been erratic, plunging the country into what came to be known as dumsor.
Experts have said many small businesses collapsed because the owners could not afford to fuel generators to power production.
As a result, the amount of $350 million out of the total $498.2 million was earmarked to be channelled into revitalising Ghana’s main power distributor, ECG.
It was also expected to upgrade power infrastructure and strengthen the capacity of ECG to improve on its service to customers.
But the ECG workers in a position paper released on July 22, 2015 said they never supported the decision to give the company to a private company under a concession arrangement.
They argued government’s decision to privatise the company because of inefficiency would not address the challenges facing the energy sector.
A coalition of stakeholders in 2016 condemned the arrangement and called on government to review the MCC Compact II.
Vice President of IMANI-Ghana, Kofi Bentil said although the MCC compact II will help the country’s energy sector, certain portions of the agreement had to be relooked at.
He called for the review of Article 7.1 of the agreement. The Article states that, “When the implementation process begins it shall not be subject to the laws of Ghana.”
But President Akufo-Addo said his government has caused certain portions of the compact II agreement to be reviewed.
He said the country will own at least 51 percent of the concession in the current agreement, promising there will not be “involuntary layoffs.”
The President was confident the amendments “meet the aspirations of Ghanaians in protecting the jobs of workers and the control and viability of ECG.”