GRIDCo staff threaten to sleep on premises of ECG over debt

Category: General News 192

Mr Jonathan Amoako-Baah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Grid Company Limited, says the Company would soon dispatch its staff to sleep on the premises of the Electricity Company of Ghana to demand payment of debt.

He said two major customers of the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), namely the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCo), owed the Company GHȼ540,396,706.37 and GHȼ30,728,205.78 respectively.

“The strategy we are adopting now is that, we’ll ask our people to go to ECG every day to see the Managing Director and the Director of Finance, and drum it home to them that we need this money to finance our projects,” he said.

He complained that in view of the indebtedness of those companies, GRIDCo could not carry out a lot of activities, saying; “We have suppliers, vendors and compensation to pay, but because we don’t have money it has stalled our projects”.

Mr Amoako-Baah gave the warning on the sidelines of the Company’s Eighth Annual General Meeting in Accra, on Friday, to take stock of the year under review and strategise for the way forward.

He, however, ruled out cutting supply of electric power to ECG or going to court with the matter, saying; “We are all government companies and they’re our brothers so we’ll not fight this legally. I believe that through negotiations we should be able to take our monies from them”.

“The defaulting companies were not fulfilling their indebtedness regularly as agreed, therefore, the debts piled up and the ECG were paying GH¢8 million a week so we asked them to up the payment to GH¢12 million a week,’’ he said.

He suggested to the Management of ECG to use proceeds from the Energy Bond to defray the debts, adding “We would have been glad if government gives money from the Energy Bond directly to us, instead of giving it to the ECG before paying us”.

Meanwhile, Mr Joseph Cudjoe, a Deputy Minister of Energy, in an earlier address, urged the Board and Management of GRIDCo to ensure resilient, reliable, efficient and cost-effective transmission system.

He said when the transmission lines at Bolga and Ouagadougou were completed, it would increase the Company’s revenue because more electric power would be transmitted to customers outside the country, which would rake-in more revenue to GRIDCo.

He said government had good plans of enhancing the capacity of GRIDCo as outlined in the 2018 Budget Statement, therefore it would work on the generation, transmission and distribution levels to create more transmission systems to prevent the recurrence of the power crisis.

Mr Cudjoe said government was implementing a liquidity policy of ensuring immediate fair sharing of proceeds that came through power distribution and was taking medium and long term solvency in the energy sector.

The Energy Bond that was issued this year raked-in GHȼ4.7 billion, which would help ECG and other defaulting companies to pay off their debts.

GRIDCo undertakes economic dispatch and transmission of electricity from wholesale suppliers (power generating companies) to bulk customers such as the ECG, Northern Electricity Distribution Company, and the mines.

It was established in accordance with the Energy Commission Act, 1997, (Act 541) and incorporated on December 15, 2006 as a private limited company.

GRIDCo started operations on August 1, 2008 following the transfer of the Volta River Authority’s transmission assets to it.

Source: GNA

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