Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rot at Ghana's Electricity Company? Yawn

I yawned when I read the headline Rot At ECG – Anas Catches Corrupt Officials On Tape. It sounded like something new that Ghanaians have never known of, except its just a regurgitation of what I call a generally accepted act of public corporations. 


Walk into any state owned corporation in Ghana and you either will puke at the incredible rot or just get so stupefied you get swindled by those so called Goro Boys. Walk into the Ghana Water Company, the Electricity Company, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing authority among others. Those companies are so hopelessly inept and inefficient that they're more like dinosaurs that have outlived their usefulness.


I also feel sad when government officials keep telling us how much money is needed to recapitalize these rotten public bodies without actually tackling the root cause of the chronic lack of funds : hopelessly incompetent management and corruption so bad it's bordering on insanity. 


Find out how much the men- and women- who sit on the useless boards of these public entities get paid, compare that to the output of those bodies and then listen to government after government telling us how much money is needed to capitalize those bodies, then draw your own conclusion. 


To give you an example, not so long ago, the Electricity company suddenly embarked on a drive to fit every house with prepaid meters. It was not a bad idea except for the lingering questions that never got answered or the incredible theft that was and is being committed with those meters. Was it true the directive for such an exercise came about because the son of the then president owned the company that imported those meters? 


Why were consumers asked to pay for those meters? Why do you always get short changed anytime you buy a top up voucher for your prepaid meter? Why did the exercise suddenly cease with the exit of that particular government? These and other questions still remain unanswered. Try getting electricity connection to your house using legal, clear means laid out in the very books of the ECG and be lucky if you ever get an official to even give you any sensible feedback. Use the backdoor means and you'll have power in no time.


What is it with these public businesses that has made them so corrupt and inept to the point of incredulity? Why can't any government do anything about them? Why have the hard working tax paying law abiding citizens  of Ghana become so docile as to believe they are deserving of such greed, rot and outright incompetence from corporations that keep milking us dry? Why?

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