The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has signed an Implementing Entity Agreement (IEA) with the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) under the Power Compact II, for the disbursement of US$65.7 million into NEDCo’s operations to bolster power distribution.
The IEA is a critical requirement of the Compact, a condition precedent to the disbursement of the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) funds for the implementation of the NEDCo Financial and Operational Turnaround (NFOT) Project.
In August 2014, the government of Ghana signed the Second Power Compact with the government of the United States of America, represented by the MCC, for disbursement of US$536 million towards the improvement of power supply in Ghana.
At the signing ceremony of the IEA between MiDA and NEDCo in Accra on Thursday, Mr Martin Eson-Benjamin, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MiDA, said the Agreement was intended to support NEDCo to develop into a fully-fledged utility firm, and ensuring financial and operational sustainability.
He said it would deepen the relationship and collaboration between NEDCo and MiDA, and ensure the release of funds for the smooth take-off of the NFOT project.
Mr Eson-Benjamin said the NFOT project would position NEDCo to be more effective and efficient in distributing power to economic enclaves of the northern region, where it operates, which would engender economic growth.
“It is critical for NEDCo to improve its ability to deliver reliable power, recover costs and provide efficient services to customers in a timely and effective manner.
“This way, NEDCo will be contributing to the government’s energy policy and development agenda for the north,” he said.
The CEO of MiDA observed that, efficient supply of electric power in the north would support the implementation of government’s flagship programmes, including the one-district, one factory and one-village, one-dam, as well as agriculture and irrigation projects in the area.
“Following a re-design of the Project and many challenges encountered in our efforts to sign the IEA, we have lost almost two years of the time for the implementation of the NFOT.
“Therefore all stakeholders must put their hands on deck, collaborate and work hard to move this Project forward,” Mr Eson-Benjamin pointed out.
Mr Frank Akligo, the Managing Director of the NEDCo, on his part, said the financial support being provided under the Ghana Power Compact would bolster its operations.
He said it would revamp the various aspects of electric power supply, improve the quality of service delivery, increase revenue and propel economic growth within its operational areas.
He expressed appreciation to the MCC and the MiDA as well as the Board of NEDCo for supporting and making the signing of the IEA a reality.
Chief Nusa Badimsugru Adam, Gbandana of the Mamprusi Traditional Area and Board Member of NEDCo, said the project was a golden opportunity for the people in the north, to stimulate socio-economic growth and, thus, pledged his unflinching support towards its implementation.