‘ECG MD must go’ – Staff renew protests
Workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) have embarked on a nationwide protest to remove their Managing Director, Kwame Agyemang- Budu.
A significant number of the workers were clad in red armbands amidst hoisting of red flags, drumming and dancing.
They accused the MD of mismanaging the power distribution company.
According to the workers, the MD has, among other things, supervised procurement breaches in the award of contract to some six sub-stations.
The workers embarked on a two-hour-sit down strike today, April 26, 2021, to drum home their grievances.
This protest comes two weeks after the workers’ leadership petitioned the Presidency and the Energy Ministry to take action on their demands.
The Union Chair for the Western Regional branch of the association, Samuel Agbetor, said the continuous stay of the MD would lead to serious consequences which include the collapse of the firm.
“This our company (ECG) is dear to our hearts. The company is where we are being fed. [It’s] where we take our daily bread… The President said we should not be spectators but citizens. Not only citizens but responsible citizens. Today, if the company collapses, it collapses on our heads.
“And what we’re doing today is ‘MD must go’,” he said whiles the other workers followed him chanting ‘MD must go’.
Two weeks ago, the Junior and Senior decided at a National Executive Committee meeting that Managing Director Mr Agyeman-Budu should be kicked out to save the company.
Among other things, they cited outsourcing of tasks at a commission and failure to plug revenue leakages.
Additionally, they said in a statement that, “There has been a number of procurement process breaches under the clear supervision of the Managing Director.
“A clear example is the award of contracts of some Six (6) substations were the recommendations of the evaluation committee were sidestepped and awarded to other companies”.
According to them, “A conservative estimate puts the current system loss figure at over 34% as of February 2021, and there are no concrete strategies in place to bring them down in the short and medium-term”.
Meanwhile, the Presidency and the Energy Ministry are yet to respond to the concerns raised by the ECG workers.
The Junior and Senior Staff unions of the company petitioned the Board for the dismissal of the Managing Director, claiming he is not discharging his duties effectively.
Reaction from MD
But the MD of ECG has described accusations levelled against him as untrue.
He said that he did not approve the provision of adequate materials for the company’s operations because there had been shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that most companies from whom they buy the materials folded up and are not producing.
According to him, accusations of lack of accessories for vendors are also unfounded because ECG does not procure accessories for vendors. Mr Agyeman-Budu said it is also not true that he stopped revenue mobilisation in June 2020, explaining that government-subsidized electricity for some months and instructed that no form of revenue or disconnection of power should be done, with other companies like VRA, Ghana Water, and GRiDco, also adhering to the directives.
On allegations of sidelining his three deputies, Mr Agyeman-Budu said it is false that he did not involve them in decision making, since the Deputy Managing Director of Finance and Deputy Managing Director Human Resource are always around to advise and make positive suggestions on most of the things.