Business News of Tuesday, 21 February 2017
The possibility of listing state power producer Volta River Authority (VRA) and power transmitter Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) is to be explored by the government towards fixing the energy sector and clearing its “heavy indebtedness”, President Nana Akufo-Addo has said.
As part of fixing the problem, the president told parliament in his first state of the nation address to parliament on Tuesday, 21 February that his government has begun to develop a national electricity masterplan, which will also explore the benefits of listing VRA and GRIDCO on the Stock Exchange.
According to him, his predecessor John Mahama left behind a heavily indebted energy sector.
“The attempts by the previous government to resolve the dumsor crisis have led to a gargantuan debt overhang in the sector,” Nana Akufo-Addo said.
“We have inherited a heavily indebted energy sector, with the net debt reaching $2.4 billion as of December 2016,” the president said, adding: “I have to point out the alarming fact that $800 million of this debt is owed to local banks, which threatens their stability.”
“Huge indebtedness of the energy sector constitutes the single major hurdle to Ghanaians enjoying reliable and affordable electricity supply
“The cost of energy destroys businesses large and small. It destroys jobs. It compounds poverty. The current state of the energy situation in our country is unsatisfactory,” he said.
“My government will enforce the procurement law. We will insist on open and competitive bidding for power capacity procurement.”