General News of Saturday, 31 January 2015
President John Mahama must resign over the worsening power situation in Ghana, Sydney Casely-Hayford has said.
The financial analyst, who absolved the President of responsibility for the crisis about a week ago, made a volte-face on Citi FM’s news and current affairs programme – The Big Issue – on Saturday January 31, 2015.
He told programme host Richard Sky that Mr Mahama must resign because he (Mahama) has come out to accept full responsibility for the crisis.
“He has to resign…he has failed…he has to leave,” Casely-Hayford insisted on the programme.
President Mahama told Ghanaians in Germany, during a two-day state visit about two weeks ago that he takes full responsibility for the erratic power situation, which keeps getting worse by the day.
“…I accept the responsibility for it and I’ll work to resolve it,” he said. The current irregular power supply is having a toll on Industry and domestic consumers, who have had to contend with a load management schedule due to a 500-Megawatt production deficit.
Explaining the reason for the deficit to the Ghanaians in Germany, the President said a number of factors have conspired to plunge the nation into the current crisis, known locally as ‘dumsor’.
Firstly, he said the irregular gas supply from the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGPco) has played a major role since “You can’t plan with the gas from the West Africa Gas Pipeline” in Nigeria.
According to the President, a number of thermal production plants that rely on gas were constructed in the Tema enclave to be powered by gas from WAGPco, but the unreliability of gas from Nigeria has compelled the country to shut those plants down.
“…We were assured to get 120 million standard cubic feet of gas so we built several plants in the Tema enclave that run only on gas,” but regretted that “WAGPco has not been as reliable as we had hope so we cannot even plan.”
He also said an increase in demand as a result of an increase in population has also compounded the problem, while the Akosombo Dam, which produces about 37 percent of the nation’s entire energy need is also running only four units. The other two units have been shut down due to low water level in the Volta lake – a consequence of poor rainfall. Also the Bui and Kpong Dams are not producing power due to low water level.
As part of measures toward resolving the deficit, the President said plans are afoot to produce between 300 and 350 million standard cubic feet of gas to feed the various production plants that rely on gas.
He said while Ghana can get 150 million standard cubic feet of gas from the Jubilee oil field in the Western region, the TEN field, which he said will come on stream in 2016, will provide between 50 and 80 million standard cubic feet of gas with an additional 150 to 180 million standard cubic feet of gas expected from the ENI field. Mr Mahama said all these measures are aimed at ensuring energy security for the country.