Business News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017
A policy analyst at the Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC), Dr. Steve Manteaw, has backed government’s plans to list the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCO) on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).
Speaking on the Morning Starr Wednesday, Dr. Manteaw said the move would ensure corporate transparency and accountability.
“I agree with government to dilute the ownership of GRIDCO and VRA,” he told Morning Starr host Francis Abban on Wednesday February 22, 2017, adding “you don’t go on the stock market only when you are doing well. You can go when you have a challenge.”
President AKufo-Addo delivering his maiden State of the Nation Address on Tuesday February 21, 2017 disclosed that the VRA and GRIDCO would be listed on the GSE.
According to him, the move was part of a national electricity master plan being developed by government to solve the country’s debilitating power crisis.
“The current State of the Energy situation in our country is unsatisfactory. We have begun to develop a national electricity master plan, which will also explore the benefits of listing VRA and GRIDCO on the stock exchange,” he said.
Akufo-Addo among other things said his government would enforce the procurement law, stating that he would insist on open and competitive bidding for power capacity procurement.
He said the outgone National Democratic Congress (NDC) government led by John Mahama messed up with the country’s energy sector, leaving behind huge debt.
Ghana for the three years has been suffering from erratic power supply, leading to the collapse of some businesses.
In a move to ameliorate the effects of the crisis, the ex-Mahama administration imported two power ships to augment the country’s power supply. It also imported some plants from Ameri Power. Ghanaians were also made to pay more for power.
But addressing parliament in his first State of the Nation address, Akufo-Addo said the attempts by the previous government to resolve the power challenges had led to “a gargantuan debt overhang in the sector.”
“We have inherited a heavily indebted energy sector, with the net debt reaching $US2.4 billion as at December 2016.
I have to point out the alarming fact that 800 million US dollars 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,” he said.