Gov’t will soon sell the people of Ghana – Pratt

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Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper Kwesi Pratt says government will soon sell the people of Ghana when there are no more public companies to be sold.

He said none of public institutions sold by governments in the past have benefitted the people of the country, yet, more and more of the companies are being put on divestiture.

According to him, allowing the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to be managed by a private company will only burden the ordinary Ghanaian.

He said even more depressing was the fact that the announcement had to be made by the Vice-President of the Department of Compact Operations Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Kamran M. Khan at the United States Embassy and not by government.

This according him shows government’s disrespect to the citizenry.

Speaking on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’ Mr Pratt said even if releasing ECG on concession was a good decision, “major policy issues are announced at the US embassy when there is a minister for power, vice president and a minister for communication.

“I am ashamed, I never believed in my life that in Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana it is the US embassy that makes major policy announcements”, he added.

The management of ECG is set to be released on concession to a private company.

Although the private company is not known, the MCC’s Director of Compact Operations Kamran M. Khan told journalists at the US Embassy in Accra that it has received communication from the government to that effect.

The release of the company to a foreign investor, according to Kamran M. Khan is to ensure efficiency in the distribution of power in the country.

All assets of the company however, will not be sold. The concession will last for 20 years.

But Mr Pratt says privatisation of ECG is a betrayal to the promise government made earlier that it was not going to do so.

He said government should rather concentrate on making electricity available to consumers instead of selling it.

Member of Parliament for Manhyia in the Ashanti Region Matthew Opoku Prempeh said instead of releasing ECG to a private company, releasing sub stations belonging to the company to Ghanaian companies to manage is rather prudent.

He added that he would have preferred that ECG is listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) rather than being sold off to foreigners.

However, Deputy Power Minister John Jinapor in a quick rebuttal denied that ECG has been sold.

He said the concession was only to allow the company provide better service for its customers and improve efficiency.

He added that the announcement about the release of the ECG on concession was made by him and not the director of the MCC as has been reported.

He admitted that the release of ECG on concession is part of the prerequisites of the MCC tranche that will be released in December.