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The Vice President’s claim that some IT persons at the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) sabotaged his efforts when introducing digitalisation for their revenue collection is not accurate according to the Public Utilities Workers Union (PUWU).

The Union says the Vice President’s comments undermine the effort the IT staff put in to ensure the damage caused by the ransomware in 2022 was resolved.

A press statement signed by the General Secretary of PUWU, Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi, stated that other people had access to the ICT infrastructure at the Company weeks before the ransomware attacks.

PUWU highlighted that before the ransomware incidents, EOCO initiated a forensic audit on the ECG Power App involving third-party IT professionals, demanding among other things, credentials to the backend prepayment systems.

“The first ransomware attack occurred on September 28, 2022, which took a wide scope prompting the need to report the Incident to the Cyber Security Authority, as required by regulation. The National Security thereafter took over the ECG ICT system as the attack was seen as a threat to national security,” the statement read.

The statement added that, before the second ransomware attack in November 2022, National Security had full access and software administrative rights to all ECG systems due to the takeover.

At the time the IT staff at the ECG played a crucial role assisting the National Security using their system recovery strategy to restore the electricity distribution company’s hacked IT systems, they stated.

“The ECG ICT staff led the recovery effort, with the support of E-crime Bureau, a cyber security firm, invited by the ECG Board. In all these cases, the systems were restored with the major assistance of the ECG ICT staff.”

“It is, therefore, factually Inaccurate that National Security came in to recover the system, as reported by the Vice President. The Union wishes to put on record that the categorical statement made by the Vice President was inaccurate and misleading,” PUWU stated.

The statement comes after Dr Mahamudu Bawumia disclosed that some Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) staff sabotaged efforts to digitalise revenue mobilisation.

According to him, the government was busily pursuing the paperless system, and some staff of the IT unit also countered it with ransomware. The ransomware, according to him, affected the performance of the system and eventually collapsed it.

He stated that the intervention of National Security led to the discovery and arrest of the saboteurs who demanded payment to restore the system.

However, PUWU noted that although some ECG staff in the IT department were arrested and detained, as a result, they were released days later, they noted.

Additionally, PUWU stated that they are yet to be presented with the results of the investigations conducted by the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) into the ransomware attacks nearly two years later.

“Accordingly, for the Vice President to state this as a matter of fact that the Incident was a sabotage orchestrated by the staff of ECG to frustrate a project which will benefit the Company and Ghana as a whole is very unfortunate,” they added.

Some staff sabotaged the digitized revenue collection I introduced at ECG – Bawumia