Workers of the Ghana Grid Company, GRIDCo are threatening there will be a return of ‘dumsor’ this Christmas if the financial status of the company is not improved with immediate effect, blaming Ghana’s distribution company, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) for the difficulties the company is facing.
According to them, GRIDCo appears not to be in good standing financially as a result of the non-functioning Cash Waterfall Mechanism, causing considerable distress to the company’s operations, and if a solution is not immediately found, the service delivery to customers may be affected.
“The main cause of the poor cash flow situation is because the Cash Waterfall Mechanism which is used as the mode of payment to the industry players within the sector is not working and is suspected to have been discontinued,” they stated.
In a letter signed by Wisdom Kojo Adenyo, the Senior Staff Association’s National Chairman and addressed to the Minister of Energy, the Board Chairman, and the Chief Executive of GRIDCo, and sighted by JoyNews’ Energy Desk, the staff are pointing accusing fingers at ECG for their refusal to pay, in full, for the services rendered to them by the company. They explain that GRIDCo bills ECG – their major customer – over GH₵100 million per month, out of which only about 18% to 25% is paid, and in an irregular manner. “The chunk of the revenue sits in our books without any plans to redeem same. This situation has made it difficult to pay suppliers, and procure the requisite tools, materials and spares, all of which adversely affect the business,” they wrote.
According to the staff of GRIDCo, the ongoing challenges in the cash flow of the company have implications not only on their operations but also on the service delivery to customers and the general welfare of staff.
They are threatening a possible return to the days of intermittent power outages that characterised the country some years back.
“We the staff groups wish to caution that if the Cash Waterfall Mechanism is not restored immediately or other means of financial support provided for GRIDCo, we cannot guarantee smooth power supply, especially during this festive season and going forward.”
What JoyNews’ Energy Desk Knows
Our sources tell us ECG owes the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) more than $30 million, Volta River Authority (VRA) more than $30 million, Ghana Gas more than $50 million, GRIDCo more than $20 million, and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) over $60 million. We understand from our sources that VRA now sells power to Togo and Benin to help them stay afloat. This explains why some Ghanaians have been experiencing some power outages lately.
It is our understanding that Ghana Gas, VRA, and GRIDCo – all state-owned entities – cannot pay their vendors, and this is gradually crippling the operations of these companies. These three are in deep crisis, and in their own words, this is ‘unprecedented’.
Our sources tell us if nothing changes, Ghana Gas may not be able to pay Tullow for the raw gas they provide them, and Tullow may decide to cut gas supply to Ghana Gas due to that. This will definitely result in shortfalls in power generation, and if that happens ECG will have less power to supply to consumers, resulting in power outages.
By: Samuel Kojo Brace