The president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghanaians will own at least 51 percent stake under the reviewed Power Compact II agreement with the United States government.
He said here at the Independence Square Accra Monday when addressing workers at the 2017 May Day celebration under the theme, “Ghana 60 years on: “Mobilizing for Ghana’s future through the creation of decent jobs.”
“Government has amended the terms of the concession agreement to require that one; Ghanaians own at least 51 percent of the concession. Two, there should be no involuntary layoffs as a result of the concession,” he said adding that, “the terms of the concession will be reduced from 25 years to 20 years.”
President Akufo-Addo observed the new terms will benefit Ghanaians and protect Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) workers, who have expressed fear of losing their jobs under the agreement.
“We believe that these amendments meet the aspiration of Ghanaians in protecting the jobs of workers and ensuring the control and viability of ECG. We are as concerned as the workers that, the reform should not lead to involuntary job losses and we should find a long term solution to the nation’s electricity problem,” he said.
Under the Power Compact II, six projects will be implemented to address the erratic power supply the country suffered under the previous administration which was christened “Dumsor”.
The project includes ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround Project, NEDCo Financial and Operational Turnaround Project, Regulatory Strengthening and Capacity Building Project and Access Project.
The rest are Power Generation Sector Improvement Project and Energy Efficiency as well as the Demand Side Management Project.
The government signed the Ghana Power Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an independent United States government agency, on the sidelines of the US Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington on August 5, 2014.
The Power Compact would provide Ghana with a grant sum of four hundred and ninety eight million, two hundred thousand United States Dollars (US$498,200,000) to improve the performance of the country’s power sector.
About US$350 million of the grant is being invested in ECG to make the country’s power distributor operationally and financially more efficient.
The president expressed concern about poor work attitude, low productivity and poor salary levels in the country.
Nana Akufo-Addo outlined a number of other policy interventions introduced by the government including “free senior high school”, “planting for food and jobs”, “one district one factor”, “one village one dam” among others to create jobs to thousands of Ghanaians.
General Secretary of the Ghana Trades Union Congress, Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah blamed the challenges faced by Ghanaians on economic mismanagement in the last 60 years.
“We have failed in economic management. The socio-economic challenges facing Ghana today is an indicator of this failure. Joblessness among the youth remains the greatest challenge facing Ghana in spite of our enormous wealth.
After 60 years of independence, a significant number of Ghanaians cannot afford housing and education for their children. Many Ghanaians cannot afford basic healthcare. They rely on unorthodox medication even when there is the clear need to consult a doctor,” he stated.
Dr. Baah also expressed worry about the problems of the elderly in the society, street begging by disabled persons, insecurity, and bad road network as well as slave wages being paid to many workers in the country.
May Day is an annual event commemorated globally to recognize the role workers play in the economy of their respective countries.
By Francis Tandoh