VRA Not Commercially Efficient—Power Minister

The Minister for Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor has pointed out that, one of the major problems confronting the Volta River Authority (VRA) is its inability to be commercially viable.

The VRA, which is the main distributor of power to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) for onward transmission to consumers, is indebted to so many entities to the tune of several millions of dollars thereby making it commercially inefficient.

Speaking on TV3’s current affairs programme, Hot Issues hosted by Kwesi Pratt last Saturday, Dr Donkor noted that the VRA is the best when it comes to technical expertise but has major challenges in running the entity as a business. The minister was responding to concerns that the VRA had been paying several millions of dollars as demurrage on imported crude oil for three years running.

The minister said he was working with several stakeholders to make sure that VRA is run efficiently in order to cut down on its losses.

The minister also said it was about time that that ECG focused on the collection of revenues as way of tackling the energy situation adding that the private sector alone owes ECG millions of dollars. He explained that if the ECG was able to collect these huge arrears, it will be in a better position to solve some of its problems.

He noted that several state -run tertiary institutions do not help matters as they consume huge amount of power without paying. Citing the University of Ghana as a classic example, he said some lecturers are billed for using power but the university fails to use monies collected as payment for the overall consumption of power.

He also cited the situation whereby students use high energy-consuming appliances like air conditioners without paying. This, he said was not the best.

According to him, these issues must be addressed if the energy situation is to be solved in the long term in addition to boosting power generation.

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