General News of Thursday, 12 March 2015
Communications Director of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) has vehemently defended power generators who have for the past three years struggled to provide power to consumers in Ghana.
Nana Yaa Jantuah told Joy News’ Beatrice Adu it will be unfair for anybody to create the impression that the managers of Ghana’s power sector are sleeping on the job while Ghanaians sleep in the dark.
Government and its allied agencies in the power sector have missed many deadline promises they gave to end what has become known as the ‘dumsor’ debacle.
Schools, companies, residents are bearing the horrible brunt of the power crisis with many job losses, reported dumsor related deaths etc.
At an emergency meeting late last year, the PURC resolved that power generators would have to raise an amount of $120 million to purchase crude oil to power thermal plants, in order to ameliorate the crisis the country was going through at the time.
Three months on, it doesn’t appear the situation has gotten any better. It has rather gotten worse with a new load shedding timetable of 12 hours electricity, 24 hours darkness.
The situation has angered many Ghanaians, with some thinking the PURC, a body put in place to see to the interest of the consumers, is rather in bed with the power generators.
But Nana Yaa Jantuah has parried those claims. She said the PURC has a duty “to ensure there is financial viability and protection of the utility service provider as well as protecting the interest of the consumer. We have to tip the balance.”
She said the explanations being provided by the power generators for their inability to resolve the crisis are not mere excuses but are the reality on the ground.
“They are telling you what it is. That is the truth. That is the picture. If you don’t want to listen to them that one [it is you problem],” she said. Jantuah said she has come to accept the fate of “dumsor” and Ghanaians must do same.
“As long as we ourselves don’t accept that we are in a certain situation that is where the problem is. I can hear the frustration in your voice, but you should accept it [dumsor]. Me I have accepted it.”
When Beatrice Adu pointed out that dumsor was not something good to accept and that the handlers of the power sector must be pushed to solve it, she was ready with another defence- “No. It is the situation. Generation of electricity is not a one-day affair,” she said.