ECG System Failure Saga Gets Murkier
The circumstances surrounding the current power purchase difficulties endured by customers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) are getting murkier, with a threat by the minority in parliament to release some documents and escalate the matter.
According to the minority, the whole issue has to do with an attempt by the management of the power distribution company to hand over ECG’s mobile App to a new company on contract to operate.
The new company, Hubtel, is expected to operate the App as a third-party at a certain percentage, even though the internal IT staff of ECG are already handling it efficiently.
This move did not go down well with the ECG IT team, hence, they allegedly refused to give out the App’s source code to the new company, in spite of pressure on them to release the code.
This back-and-forth disagreement, according to information, forced the management to invite the National Security, as well as the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), to intervene, leading to disruptions in the prepaid metering system.
But Mr. John Abdulai Jinapor, a ranking member on the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, who dropped the hint on ‘Top Story’ a news programme on Accra-based Joy Fm, said that his side is getting some documents and, therefore, intend to escalate the matter by summoning the managing director of ECG and management to answer questions.
“We are getting some reports and some documents, so tomorrow we intend to escalate this matter and to pursue it in respect of this whole thing,” he said.
“Why is ECG introducing a new company called Hubtel, when indigenous local staff have been able to develop an App at no cost to ECG that sells power? Why are they doing that? And why they don’t have the backup system? These are two things that we want to pursue,” he stated.
According to him, they will take the matter up at the Mines and Energy Committee level and plenary, including all other processes at the disposal of the minority side.
Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference yesterday, October 3, the managing director of ECG, Samuel Mahama, also debunked the claim that he was being sabotaged.
He said: “I don’t feel sabotaged. I don’t feel sabotaged at all.”
“I just feel we are working and there are challenges and in every working environment there are pushes and there are pools, and we just have to work hard to ensure that the right systems are put in place, so things move in the right direction.”
He added: “It is work that we are doing. So we plead with you to help us help you. We have challenges, but we believe by close of work today, most of the machines will be working well and everyone will be able to buy their power.”
Mr. Mahama has also apologized to all customers of the company for the fault that interrupted purchase of power.
He admitted that the fault was as a result of the company’s inability to be on top of its game.
He told the press: “I sell electricity with the company called Electricity Company of Ghana. I admit, our company admits fault that we were not able to deliver service to the customers, we are very sorry for that.
“That was our fault that we were not on top of our game to deliver a service. Let us not forget that in such a business the customer is the one that always gets hurt when you don’t deliver on your promise. So, when I said I admit my fault I admit my fault in not being able to deliver the service that we promised to deliver.”
He stressed: “I will like to apologize to all customers of the Electricity Company of Ghana who attempted to purchase power and they were not able to purchase power, the company admits its fault, the company admits that it was not able to deliver on the service.
But the company will like all its customers to also know that most vending stations are up and running. I used most because we still have some few challenges in the Ashanti region that we are working on. Hopefully, by close of day today, it will be resolved.”