General News of Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Energy minister-designate Boakye Agyarko has revealed that he was a political refugee in the United States of America, in the 25 years he lived there.
The outspoken former banker made the disclosure in response to a question on whether he held an American citizenship.
“I went to the US as a political refugee and qualified as such. In a matter of two years, I was able to upgrade my status from a refugee to that of a resident permit holder. This is because I had a number of equity situations namely; my sister could apply for me to hold a green card as well as my mother, who had become a naturalized American citizen.
Throughout the period, I stayed in America on a Green card, and at no point in time did I become a citizen of the United States,” he said.
On Energy, Mr. Agyarko said measures are being taken by the Akufo-Addo government to ensure that Ghanaians obtain the best of of services at cheap rates.
“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,” Mr. Agyarko explained.