President John Mahama has made the strongest case yet for his government’s attempt to privatize the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
In his argument, the President said Ghana’s decision to allow private participation in the telecom sector, contributed hugely to its current development.
“None of us could imagine twenty years on what kind of explosion was going to take place in telecommunications and you look back with hindsight. Change is something that many people are afraid of.
At the time it was decided to deregulate, Ghana and South Africa were the first to begin deregulation on the African continent. And change was not something people were ready to embrace.
They said that telecoms was such a vital service that if you deregulated and let the private sector come in, the CIA could plan things and listen to conversations.
Those were some of the “chimeras” that were pulled out of the box because we were going to privatize and allow private participation.
Today I can see a similar development of the inefficient downstream distribution system on the electricity and power front. We are trying to do reforms and those chimeras are being drawn out,” he said.
Citing what he calls a major turnaround in the telecom sector, the President was hopeful there will be long term benefits if the private sector is allowed to operate in key sectors of the economy.
“Electricity is so important that it must be monopolized by the state, why are you allowing private sector in? But we have had this system for years, and it’s not working. If it’s not working, we fix it”.
The president further explained that it is only through taking risks a country can develop. According to him, a country cannot advance if the leaders keep avoiding risks.
“You fix a situation by taking risks. It is a risk we took when we deregulated telecommunications. If you are not ready to take risks then the world is not ready to make progress”.
He added that “Ghanaians need to prepare their minds for change when it becomes necessary”.
President Mahama was speaking at the opening ceremony of this year’s African ICT and Mobile expo (MOBEX) which is one of the collaborations Citi FM will be involved in during this year’s Citi Business Festival.
By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana