ECG’s inefficiencies managerial, not revenue collection – expert

Former VRA CEO, Kweku Awotwi
Former VRA CEO, Kweku Awotwi

An energy expert, Kweku Awotwi, says the inefficiencies of the Electricity Company of Ghana [ECG] are more of managerial than collection of revenue and collusion.

He argued the current challenges being faced by the ECG should be blamed on the lack of necessary incentives.

“ECG inefficiencies are more than not just collecting and tampering and colluding…It’s a management issue. But if we don’t have the right incentives on top of ECG, we will struggle,” Mr Awotwi said on TV3’s Hot Issue on Saturday.

The former Volta River Authority Chief Executive observed that ECG and Northern Electricity Development Company have very capable engineers but “the incentive to collect, the incentive to collude are very high…”

“I think that for me, it’s a shame when I read in the paper that the President or the minister is worrying about metres. That should be somebody else’s job. This is where I think a private sector system is better placed with the incentives to get them to work.

Mr Awotwi, however, noted the problem could be fixed, noting, “there is no reason why we cant do it ourselves” but said it means a combination of things; like putting in place equipment and systems that minimise human intervention.

“There’s no reason why we can’t do this. I don’t think it’s an issue of foreign versus Ghanaian. I think the issue is very much more about systems in place, incentives in place, the sanctions in place if you don’t do things and I do think that [in] our current set up, those systems are not in place,” he said.

Touching on the plans to split the Volta River Authority, Mr Awotwi who is also the Principal of Africa Power Systems Management underscored the need to look at what he said is the systemic issues of the VRA.

He argued that if those issues could be addressed, there would not be the need to split the VRA, saying, “If we can address them, you don’t need to do that. If you don’t address them, then that is the solution.

“The indebtedness is clearly an issue. If they [VRA] had money they would buy spare parts, they would buy fuel. Its not all VRA’s doing… One really has to look at the systemic issues.

“If you split up and you still owe 180 million dollars to West African Gas Pipe Line, you’ve not moved, you do have to address certain things and from that point of view [splitting it] by itself is not enough.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana
Twitter @steviekgh

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