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Resolve GRIDCo issues now – Minority to Gov’t

Adam Mutawakilu, Ranking Member for Mines and Energy Committee in Parliament

The Minority in Parliament has asked the government to quickly resolve the finical issues affecting the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) to enable the company work effectively.

Staff of GRIDCo on Thursday November 21 served notice that they will on Friday, 29 November 2019 stage a demonstration over some GHS1.2 billion owed the company by key stakeholders in the energy sector.

The workers said they will march to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO) and the Ministry of Finance in demand of their unsettled debts.

The workers, who began an industrial action by withdrawing all emergency services on Thursday, 21 November 2019, have been directed by the leadership of their union not to provide any further services beyond the official working hours.

The members have also been directed to hoist red flags as a harbinger of the turbulent times ahead for the energy sector.

At a press briefing on Thursday, the President of the GRIDCo Staff Union, Raphael Kornor, said the march will lead to a declaration of a sit-down strike on 4 December 2019 if their concerns are not addressed, immediately.

The staff, he said, “have reached their wits end and cannot continue to sacrifice any longer”.

He added: “We would be embarking on the action if these debts are not paid, adding: “The GHS250 million which the President directed the Finance Minister to pay; the VALCO debt of about US32,567,974 as of September 30; the ECG debt of about GHS607 million as of March 1, 2019; the PDS debt of GHS94,204, 903 which ECG collected during the suspension of the PDS; the NEDCo debt of about GHS177 million as of September 30, 2019.”

Speaking to Class 91.3FM’s parliamentary correspondent Ekow Ana on Friday November 22, Ranking Member of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, Adam Mutawakilu said sector minister John Peter Amewu will be summoned over the matter.

The Damongo MP further revealed Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta who according to him had hijacked the energy ministry will also be summoned for answers regarding the challenges in the energy sector in spite of accruals to Energy Sector Levy (ESLA).

He said : “We are quite disappointed in President Nana Akufo-Addo and his government for not being proactive after several signals have been sent.

“The minority set a signal about the poor nature of the financials of the GRIDCo and that we if we do not take time GRIDCo will grind to halt but government did not pay heed to.

“The workers of GRIDCo in March gave the signal but the government did not pay heed to until we got to this stage. This is clearly a sleeping government that has no clue about the energy sector and it is time we boot them out.”

He further explained that some projected that were hinged on the support from GRIDCO had been stopped following the debts owed GRIDCo.

“The 330KV line that John Mahama started from Kumasi to Bolgatanga which were predicated n the financial position of GRIDCo had been halted because the financial ratios are very poor, AFD has suspended disbarment and the contractors are back home

“On top of that ESLA that is supposed to help the power sector agencies, GRIDCo had gotten its share.”

Source: laudbusiness.com

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