The Former Minister for Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, has kicked against the listing of the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).
According to Dr. Kwabena Donkor to list the utility provider on the GSE will be most unfortunate and also has security implications.
Speaking during an interview on an Accra based radio station Citi fm, Former Minister for Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor said, whoever is advising the Akufo-Addo government to list VRA and GRIDCo on the Ghana Stock Exchange is doing the country disservices suggesting that GRIDCo was profitable.
“To consider listing GRIDCo on the stock exchange will be most unfortunate. Whoever is advising the government will be doing the country a disfavor. GRIDCo is the nerve centre of the power system. GRIDCo is the brain and is profitable. GRIDCo is a limited liability company owned solely by the state. It has recorded profits in the last couple of years and so why would you put your brain on the stock exchange.”
Dr. Donkor further stated that, “GRIDCo is not only a commercial entity, it is a strategic entity, stating that in some countries, the grid company is on GPS because it is considered a major security installation.”
The President Nana Akufo-Addo in his maiden State of the Nation address, announced Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) and the Volta River Authority (VRA), will be listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange.
According to the President Akufo-Addo listing them on the GSE was part of a master plan to strengthen the power sector and open competitive bidding for power capacity procurement, thus reducing the cost of power projects and ensuring value for money.
“We have begun to develop a national electricity master plan, which will also explore the benefits of listing VRA and GRIDCO on the Stock Exchange.”
“I am proposing a number of policy interventions. We will improve on transparency in tariff setting, and introduce a new tariff policy that will reclassify consumer categories in order to protect lifeline and strategic industrial consumers. We will also reduce significantly some of the levies and taxes on the tariffs,” the President added.
The President further stated that, “We have inherited a heavily indebted energy sector, with the net debt reaching 2.4 billion US dollars as at December 2016. I have to point out the alarming fact that 800 million US dollars of this debt is owed to local banks, which threatens their stability and that of the whole financial sector. Indeed, the huge indebtedness of the energy sector constitutes the single major hurdle to Ghanaians enjoying reliable and affordable electricity supply.”
The President also assured of his government commitment, to confront and resolve the challenges within the power sector in the country.
Meanwhile reacting to the high indebtedness of the energy sector, the former Power Minister Dr. Kwabena Donkor stated that, “the levies are enabling us to pay off the debt” challenging the figure of $2.4 billion reported on by the President.
“Some of the debts are intra-sector; ECG owing GRIDCo and therefore GRIDC0 probably owing some other entity, so if you do the cross checking, it comes to about $1.2 billion,” he added.