Politics

There must be some element of privatisation of ECG – Boakye Agyarko

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Source: Ama Cromwell

An aspiring presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Boakye Agyarko, has advocated for a significant shift in the operational framework of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, the former Energy Minister highlighted the need for a partial privatisation of ECG, aiming to inject much-needed capital and transform its operational practices.

“I’d rather, ECG is not operated the way it is operated now. There must be an element of privatisation in ECG. That hopefully will increase the level of a cash infusion and also change some of its practices,” he told Evans Mensah on Monday.

The aspiring presidential candidate expressed his belief that privatization could help alleviate the financial challenges faced by ECG, citing his experience in investment banking where utility companies and Distributing Companies (DISCOs) were considered lucrative investment opportunities due to their consistent revenue generation.

“When I was in investment banking, anytime a utility or a DISCO was floating instruments, we fought over them because these were cash cows, but ECG is not,” he said.

 

Mr Agyarko also highlighted several persistent issues that ECG has been grappling with, including challenges related to bill collection, high system losses, and the lack of capital for modernisation.

He shared that during his tenure as a minister, an assessment revealed that ECG required a significant cash infusion of $3 billion to transition into a modern Distribution Company (DISCO), however, securing such a substantial amount of capital within the country’s financial constraints proved to be a significant challenge.

The former Energy Minister, however, believed that a private investor could have financed such an endeavour.

He subsequently pointed out that ECG’s system losses were considerably higher than the targets set by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).

“In my time, the system losses were around 27% when PURC was looking at 11 to 12 percent system losses. Uncollected bills amounted to 1.2 billion annually even the government indebtedness to ECG was huge.”

Mr Agyarko is one of 10 aspirants in the New Patriotic Party’s presidential primaries. The aspirants hoping to lead the party to the 2024 general elections will go through a special delegates conference this weekend.

 

The conference is aimed at trimming down the number of aspirants from 10 to five prior to the national conference expected to be held in November.

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