The Finance Minister, Seth Terkper has sought to clarify that even though Ghana is going through perhaps its worst power crisis, it is still a shining star in terms of access to electricity on the continent.
‘Let us remember that even during the period that we coined ‘dumsor’ and all that, Ghana has a record, the country has 72% access to electricity,’ he remarked.
Speaking at the Graphic Business-Fidelity Bank breakfast meeting in Accra on Thursday, the Minister was optimistic that the nation will find permanent solutions to the energy crisis soon.
He mentioned that when it comes to access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana is ranked second to South Africa ‘so we may not be too bad after all.’
For three years, Ghana has been forced to ration power to consumers due to power generation deficit and technical issues.
The situation degenerated and the effects on industry and the economy, forced employers to lay off about 13,000 workers in various sectors.
Industry players have warned that if the power crisis is not resolved within the shortest possible time, more people will lose their jobs. Presently, the government has signed contracts with some energy companies from countries including Turkey, Germany, USA, Russia, among others to help with energy generation.
He added that when ‘we resolve our short term and medium term challenges, I believe the full benefits will be known.’
According to Mr. Terkper, ‘there are various power agreements and things that will go into this and the West African Gas Pipeline as well as our own gas processing plant has come on stream.’
In the face of the worsening economic challenges, Seth Terkper admonished Ghanaians not to focus only the negatives but also acknowledge the many successes the country has chalked.
‘When we look at the economy, we should not look at it only on account of non-performance of Ghanaian managers including politicians,’ he suggested.
‘We should also look it at in the context of thee major shocks that the economy continues to go through in the last two years that we launched the recovery because often times, the conversation does not take account of these major shocks which in the past would have actually crippled the economy and therefore when we talk about decimal figures, even like a 3.5% growth or 4% growth, let us remember first that the base for the GDP itself has increased so a 3% is not the same as a 105 some years back.’
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