PUWU Come Again On ECG


The truth is bitter and it hurts, so say the sages. That is the story of the workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) whose umbrella workers’ union is the Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU).

This body, quite in tune with its mandate to seek the welfare of its members, has decided to come to the defence of the ECG workers, following the verdict of the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who is also the flagbearer of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

What exactly did the Veep say to incur the wrath of the ECG workers? For the purposes of our position on the matter, we refresh the memories of our readers in order that they could appreciate the arguments better. Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa, the Vice President intimated that the workers of the power distribution company have been sabotaging the government’s attempt to digitalise the revenue collection programme of the ECG.

He said some employees in the IT unit of the ECG installed ransomware to stop the company’s IT system from functioning correctly. “Every month, they simply maintained it at GH¢450 million. As a result, we sent a team and started the digitalisation process,” said the Vice President.

It would be recalled that in 2022, some customers in parts of the Volta Region, Takoradi, Tema, Cape Coast, Kasoa, Winneba, Swedru, Koforidua, Nkawkaw and Tafo were unable to buy electricity credit due to metering system downtime. The development brought frustrations to electricity users in the affected towns.

This incident happened before the ECG went cashless in 2023. In March 2023, the Managing Director of the ECG, Samuel Dubik Mahama told the media that some staff of the ECG had been arrested for the meter glitch, but failed to give further details. If that were the case, what is the defence of the PUWU?

In its statement, the PUWU said the ICT department of the ECG initiated digitalisation efforts as far back as July 2016, with the rollout of the ECG Power App and USSD services. “The ICT Directorate already spearheaded the digitalisation of ECG payment systems with rollout of the ECG Power App and USSD (*226#) services dating back to July 2016. His Excellency the Vice President was invited as a guest of honour on the 18th of February, 2020 to launch the ECG Power App…”

Be that as it may, all customers have very bitter experiences with workers of the ECG, especially those involved in field work and customer care. If the PUWU claims the digitalisation process started in 2016, nobody can contest it.

There must be a genesis to some initiative but nobody can convince us that in 2016 someone can buy credit through the phone and in the comfort of their homes even deep in the night. And can the PUWU refrain from being economical with the truth by telling Ghanaians when the management of the ECG issued a statement to the effect that it would no longer accept cash for services in its offices throughout the country?

We are not expecting the ECG staff to clap for Dr. Bawumia for his damning revelations about their attitude to the digitisation process, especially now that the leakages that find their way into private pockets have been blocked. Ghanaians are too quiet and unwilling to speak up against the ills of society, especially those perpetrated by public sector workers when the government raises the red flag. That is the unfortunate dividend of our partisan and polarised society. The truth hurts but it must be told by those concerned, and that is what the Vice President said in the case of the revenue generation at the ECG.

We dare Ghanaians who have had encounters with the ECG to swear by the Antoa, Akonedi and Nogokpo deities whether they were never asked to pay unofficial fees for services and failure to pay bribe led to delays in the provision of such services.

Again, we challenge ECG customers who asked for service poles or prepaid meters to share their experiences with us and whether the ECG officials treated them like kings as we are made to believe that the customer is king by students of Marketing.

Our politics hates the truth and it becomes more worrying when public and civil servants are aligned and are ready to sacrifice the truth for parochial gain. We call on the PUWU to come again. This time around the PUWU and its members at the ECG must come with further and better particulars. And we hope these would include efforts to delight ECG customers.



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