President John Dramani Mahama has defended government’s attempt to privatize the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), saying the move is necessary to make the company more efficient.
Defending his claim with examples, President Mahama explained that government had to similarly deregulate the telecommunication network, Ghana Telecom [now Vodafone Ghana] years ago because it was not working.
“Those were some of the “chimeras” that were pulled out of the box because we were going to privatize and allow private participation. Today I can see a similar development of the inefficient downstream distribution system on the electricity and power front. We are trying to do reforms and those chimeras are being drawn out.”
Citing what he calls a major turnaround in the telecom sector, the President was hopeful there will be long term benefits if the private sector is allowed to operate in key sectors of the economy.
“[People may argue that] Electricity is so important that it must be monopolized by the state, why are you allowing private sector in but we have had this system for years, and it’s not working. If it’s not working, we fix it”.
“You fix a situation by taking risks. It is a risk we took when we deregulated telecommunications. If you are not ready to take risks then the world is not ready to make progress”.
He added that “Ghanaians need to prepare their minds for change when it becomes necessary”.
President Mahama made these comments at the opening ceremony of the 2016 edition of African ICT and Mobile expo, MOBEX which is one of the collaborations with Citi FM for the Citi Business Festival.
His comments come at a time when consumers are complaining about anomalies in electricity bills.