ECG staff used ransomware to sabotage paperless system – Bawumia

The Vice President and flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has disclosed that officials of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) sabotaged the government’s efforts to digitalise revenue collection.

The Akufo-Addo government has been pursuing the digitalisation agenda with the Vice President leading the charge.

During the Annual AGM of Anti-corruption Agencies in Africa, Dr Bawumia stated that some staff of the IT unit at ECG introduced ransomware to prevent the system from working properly.

According to him, the ransomware collapsed the system, adding that it took the intervention of national security to discover the staff behind the sabotage.

“They just kept it at GHC450 million every month. So, I said we need to send in a team to digitalise the new collection of the Electricity Company of Ghana, so we sent in a team, and we began the process of digitalise.

“Can you believe that workers within the system sabotaged, they put in ransomware into the whole system. And the system essentially collapsed. We had to send in national security to eventually find that it was some of the staff at the IT department who were culpable.”

“And we found the computer which the ransomware was injected in the system. It took us awhile to restore the system. They asked for a ransom to actually allow for this to work. Can you imagine? That we should pay, they submitted a bill that we should pay for the system to work.

“Anyway, they were arrested. And we restored the system and we digitized the system and we said that no more cash payments for electricity in Ghana. You only pay by your mobile money, electronic bank transfers. So that is now the case. Can you believe that from GHC450 million a month, collections have now gone to over a billion cedis a month.”

Source: Leticia Osei

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