PURC Board angry with workers' demo

Ghana News

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The Board of the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) has described as regrettable and unruly a decision by the workers to demand the removal of the Executive Secretary Samuel Sarpong.

A statement signed in the name of Chairman and Members of Commission, PURC, said there was no justification for the protest.

Work at the Commission came to a halt on Thursday after the workers locked their offices across the country to demand the removal of Samuel Sarpong.

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The workers were demanding that a new Board is constituted immediately.

Even though they have returned to work, they still remain adamant in their call for the removal of its Executive Secretary, Samuel Sarpong.

But the Members of the Commission have condemned the action by the workers.

The full statement is as follows;

The Members (Governing Board) of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) deemed it very regrettable the unruly activities, coupled with the unsubstantiated, unproven and potentially libellous pronouncements orchestrated by the Union of PURC, led by its Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Jabaru.

These unruly activities by the Union led by Alhaji Jabaru culminated in locking up the head office and also other regional offices of PURC on Thursday, 7th September 2017, for no verifiable and substantive reason, except to protest the purported return to office of the Director of Public Relations and External Affairs (D-PREA), Nana Yaa Akyempim Jantuah.

What was their justification for embarking on the needless and destructive action on Thursday, 7th September 2017, which denied hardworking citizens regulatory services and for which these workers are receiving salaries regularly? According to Alhaji Jabaru, the D-PREA was observed at the Headquarters and was alleged to have attended a meeting, at which she reportedly lobbied to be re-instated.

For purposes of background, it is necessary to recall that in May 2017, the D-PREA who has worked in the public service for a period of 26 years, tendered in her resignation to take effect on November 15, 2017, while taking the opportunity to enjoy her accumulated leave. She has been on leave since May 2017.

In July 2017, in anticipation of the impending departure of the D-PREA, a new Manager, Public Relations and External Affairs (M-PREA), was recruited. This gentleman assumed duty on September 4, 2017. As part of the Handing Over / Taking Over processes, a meeting was called with the new M-PREA and the out-going D-PREA in attendance, to discuss administrative processes that will ensure a smooth handover of duties and responsibilities from the outgoing Director to the incoming Manager.

A key concern of the Commission was the up-coming ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Conference, which Ghana will host in November and coordinated by PURC, barely two months away. This conference could impact negatively on Ghana’s reputation if shoddily planned and poorly executed. Is this meeting reason enough for the unlawful and potentially criminal actions which disrupted work at a critical public service organization? The questions that the public, particularly the media, must ask Alhaji Jabaru and his followers are the following:

Thank you.

Ing. Stephen Akuoko,