The Minister for Power, Kwabena Donkor, could not tell parliament how much in economic and fiscal terms the current energy crisis (dumsor) which started in 2012, has cost the nation.
In a written answer to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Nabdam, Boniface Gambila Adagbila – who had wanted to know at yesterday’s sitting if the ministry had been able to quantify all the losses to the national economy as a result of the prolonged power crisis – the minister said his outfit did not have the competence to determine the economic loss to the state.
Dr Kwabena Donkor said the ministry was aware that the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Centre for Economic Policy Analysis (CEPA), Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) and the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) were doing the same work in that area and that the ministry would be relying on their figures to know the actual cost of the power crisis to the nation.
For the first time in the sixth parliament, an official answer to a question posed by a member of the House was admitted in written form, even though the member had requested for oral as well as written answer.
The MP for Nabdam later told a section of the parliamentary press corps that he was not happy with the answer given by the minister, stressing that as a responsible ministry, it should have electrical engineers who could easily have computed such losses to the nation.
“If the minister says he is going to rely on results of a similar exercise by the ISSER, CEPA and GNPC, do these institutions have electrical engineers to be doing these analyses?” he queried.
Mr Adagbila noted that it’s the same government which has been bastardising these independent institutions when they publish reports of any research they had undertaken and therefore wondered why the government had suddenly placed its faith in these same institutions.
“I will be pursuing this matter further because Ghanaians must be told the economic loss caused by the energy crisis to the taxpayer. Businesses have collapsed and people have been laid off; precious lives have been lost; hospitals have lost medical equipment and expensive medicine with repetitive purchase and replacement of these equipment and medicines,” he indicated, stressing that if the proper measures had been put in place to resolve the power crisis in time, all these losses would have been avoided and the nation would have saved some money for more development projects.
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