Mr Speaker, in order forECG to be able to liquidate this debtpartially, this House has passed theEnergy Sector Levies Bill — if we look atthat, as of now, some moneys are beingcollected but the Government does notyet have the authority to use those fundsbecause, Parliament has not givenapproval yet. We passed it in lateDecember after the Budget. So for now,what is ECG going to rely on to pay thisGH¢3,751,757? We can only go to look atits Trade and other receivables.
Mr Speaker, as of March, private peopleowe ECG about GH¢1 billion. Ministries,Departments and Agencies (MDAs) andGhana Water Company Limited owe ECGabout GH¢600 million, totalling aboutGH¢1.6 billion. Mr Speaker, the Government by law, issupposed to pay lifeline Ghana to ECG asof March -- about 317 million cedis butit has not been paid yet. That was why itis a receivable. Mr Speaker, when we passed theenergy sector levies, we also made someprovision for street light levy, whichamounted to approximately GH¢500million. Mr Speaker, in effect, the totalreceivables of ECG amounts to GH¢2.5billion, which means that if all theseinstitutions were to clear their debts, thereis no way ECG can make the payment. Infact, the gap as you see is almost GH¢1.4billion. So, there is need for ECG to getadditional revenues to liquidate this debtand then be on a path that is moresustainable. Mr Speaker, these debts do not onlyaffect these companies; it affects theentire financial system. As of today, if wedo not find a way to meet these liabilities,most of the banks would be almostbankrupt. VRA alone owes the banks overone billion Ghana cedis because ECGowes it almost one billion. That is whyeven though it is expensive, some of usthink that we should get this. Mr Speaker, all these would go towaste if we do not put in systems to makesure that this accumulation stops. Thisis because if after all the work that we do,the accumulation continues, then we havenot helped ECG. Mr Speaker, we know ECG isundergoing some form of privatisation.We are informed that about 60 companiesreplied to the request for proposals butas we speak, only about three companiesare left because of this situation that we
find ourselves. I say so because, if aprivate sector person asked to come andinherit GH¢3.75 billion, they wouldwonder who is going to pay. So, it isvery important that we proceed with this.More importantly, the Ministry of Financein particular, should ensure that thisenergy service taxes that we imposed arere-fenced, so that they are used only toliquidate the debt. This is because ifthey are not, then it would be a wasteof Parliament's time. Mr Speaker, with these reasons, Iurge Parliament to adopt the Report. Mr Speaker, we are borrowing US¢80dollars from a local bank. As of now, wedo not know who the suppliers are. MrSpeaker, this House should put its footon the ground and urge ECG andGovernment to take a bold position andallow local companies to benefit from localborrowing. Mr Speaker, the foreign banks wouldnot give us the 80 million U.S dollars butwe need to generate employment locally.So, though the Government has notdecided who is going to supply it, weshould know. If I had my choice, I wouldsuggest that we should make it conditionon who is going to supply, whether theyare local or foreign. This is because theforeigners did not want to give us the loan. We would want to generateemployment. So, it is very importantbecause if we are going to borrow US¢80from CAL Bank, then turn around andgive it to somebody to import from China,how is that going to help Government? Mr Speaker, I think that the situationof ECG is very serious. Soon, we would
be asked to take decisions to, as it were,allow Government to spend the moneyscollected to pay these debts. We need toadopt this Report to assist ECG, so thatall of us would be able to sleep well,knowing that this type of continuousaccumulation of debt, together with highutility bills comes to a halt. Mr Speaker, with these few words, Ithank you. Question Proposed.