Business News of Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Ghana’s energy sector does not generate enough revenue to effectively deliver its mandate, Minister nominee for Energy and Petroleum, Boakye Agyarko has said.
Speaking during his vetting at Parliament House on Monday, Mr. Boakye Agyarko said: “The energy sector we find now is seriously cash-strapped to the extent that we now live in a debt merry go round.”
According to him, the energy sector even lacks the resources to ensure regular maintenance that will enhance power supply.
“The problem of ‘dumsor’ has been principally one of money. If you look at the value chain for power delivery, the major power generator, VRA and the Independent Power Producers (IPP), buy their crude, they generate power, load it onto GRIDCo; GRIDCo sells it to ECG, and ECG collects the money and makes payment.
ECG is not able to collect and pay GRIDCo . GRDICo therefore is not able to pay the power producers. The power producers are therefore not able to pay for crude, and that limits their ability to generate power.”
“As it stands now, roughly forty, forty five percent of installed capacity is idle. It is idle because we cannot get the gas, the LCO or the HFO to power these plants. In certain circumstances, we do not have the money to do scheduled and regular maintenance, therefore threatening the plant in terms of warranty and insurance, so the problem has largely been one of how the money has been managed in the energy sector.”
He made this comment while responding to a question posed by a Member of Parliament’s Appointment Committee on effective measures that can be taken to resolve Ghana’s energy problems.
Ghana’s power crisis, popularly referred to as ‘dumsor’, has slowed down economic growth and frustrated citizens.
But proffering solutions to these challenges, Mr. Agyarko said the sector under his tenure will commit to improving “financial management and structuring within the energy sector.”
‘Dumsor must remain in the past’ – Nana Addo
President Nana Addo in nominating his Policy Adviser for the 2016 election campaign, Boakye-Agyarko, for the position, asked him to ensure that the power crisis, which was christened ‘dumsor’, becomes a thing of the past.
President Akufo-Addo also indicated that, the Ministry of Power and Petroleum will now fall under the Ministry of Energy, and will be headed by Mr. Agyarko, pending parliamentary approval.