All is set for the take-off of the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) programme, which is aimed at addressing the energy crisis facing the country.
Currently, the office of the Millennium Development Authority, the oversight body of the five-year programme had been established, and all the critical staff had been recruited.
Speaking at the launch of the second compact in Accra yesterday which was also used to wrap up the first compact and award some key individuals, Professor Samuel Sefa-Dedeh, the Board Chairman of MiDA said all the necessary structures had been put in place for the second compact for the MCA to begin.
Those awarded include former President John Agyekum Kufuor, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), Martin Eson-Benjamin, former Chief Operating Officer, Mathew Armah.
Ghana had been allocated with $498.2 million under the second compact of the MCA programme to create a financially viable power sector.
This follows the successful completion of the first five-year compact which run from 2005 to 2010 in which the US government allocated to the country a $547 million-dollar to support transformation of the agriculture sector and improve infrastructure in the agricultural zones of the country.
He said government in August 2014, signed an agreement with the US government for the programme to begin, saying “currently, the board for MiDA has been inaugurated and a Chief Executive Officer had been recruited”.
Professor Sefa Dedeh said the second compact was geared towards addressing the challenges facing the power sector to provide reliable power supply in the country, noting the programme would focus on five key areas such as financial turn-around of Electricity Company of Ghana and NedCo, power generation improvement, regulating and capacity building and efficient distribution of power.
“MiDA had done a constrain analysis study of the power sector and had developed the power sector problem tree,” Professor Sefa-Dedeh said.
Launching the programme, Mr Oppong-Fosu said government was excited about the successful completion of the first compact of the Millennium Challenge Account pro-gramme.
“The innovate programme demonstrates how donor funds could be used to enhance growth and promote poverty,” he said.
Mr. Oppong-Fosu lauded former President Kufuor, the US government, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and all stakeholders who contributed to the success of the programme.
Touching on the second compact, he said government was seeking for a strategic partner to operate and maintain the Electricity Company of Ghana in a bid to improve power generation and distribution in the country.
The move, he said, was to provide reliable power to spur the growth r industry and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
Mr. Oppong-Fosu said government was committed to addressing the power crisis facing the country once and for all and hence needed long term solution not adhoc one.
He said the private sector participation in the operations of the company would, among other things, build the financial and administrative capacity of the company to become a viable commercial entity.
The CEO of MiDA, Ing Owura K. Sarfo, in his remark said his outfit has signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation to serve as Transaction Advisor to look for a private sector partner for ECG.
He said a tender had been published to secure private sector players to bid for the project to partner ECG to enhance electricity generation and distribution in the country.
Ing Sarfo pledged that the team for the second compact would work hard to ensure the successful implementation of the programme.
Former President Kufuor in his remark said, he was happy that the pettiness that characterised the change of government did not affect the implementation of the first compact of the programme.
He commended former President George Bush for initiating the Millennium Challenge Account which is aimed at alleviating poverty and promoting good governance.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation Country Director, Deidra Fair-James said the MCA had created a better partnership between Ghana and the US, stressing partnership which had been created would further be deepened under the second compact of the programme.
By Kingsley Asare