An energy analyst, Dr. Yussif Sulemana, has called for the privatization of the Electricity Company of Ghana’s revenue mobilization arm to curtail the unending leakages and energy sector debts.
Speaking on the back of initial threats by the Chamber of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to cut supply to the national grid from July 1 over a $1.73 billion debt owed to its members and its subsequent suspension of such threats, Dr. Sulemana kicked against suggestions for tariff increments arguing the people are already overburdened.
“They always call for tariff increment, but I say it is not the way to go at this moment because the people are already overburdened. What we need to do is to cover the leakages, and if we do that, I don’t think this indebtedness to the IPPs will go away. There are a couple of ways we can do that.”
Dr. Sulemana argued that privatization of the revenue arm of ECG would help curtail the government’s interference in the power distributor’s activities.
“We need to think about liberalizing the ECG,” he said. “When I say liberalizing ECG, I am not talking about privatizing it completely. We can look at a particular arm of it where we have the weak link, and the weak link of the ECG is revenue mobilization. So, if you bring in private sector participation within this arm, they can take care of the revenue mobilization, and it will dilute the government’s interference with respect to state-owned enterprises indebtedness.”
He also advised against the politicization of the energy sector and cautioned the ECG to commercialize Ghana’s excess energy capacity for export to generate revenue instead of going to waste.
“Within the generation sector, there is so much that we can do,” he said. “We should not play politics with the power sector. Excess capacity must be commercialized and exported to cut down the leakages.”