General News of Thursday, 23 February 2017
Deputy National Organizer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is making claims that Ghana is on standstill after the New Patriotic Party took over the management of the country.
Speaking to Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm, he expressed his frustration after sleeping in darkness for five straight days without light.
According to him, he has gone to the Electricity Company of Ghana’s office to complain with no positive result.
The maverick politician said never has he experienced this- even when Ghana was slapped with energy crisis under the Mahama led administration. He wondered why the NPP promised change yet residents in his area will be experiencing ‘dumsor’ as is popularly called for almost a week.
‘’Ghana is on standstill. Nothing is working, nothing is moving. Is this the competence we were promised? I have not had light for five days. I am now frustrated. I have never witnessed this before even when Ghana was experiencing crisis under the NDC. The change we were promised is what we are witnessing with no light in my home for five days.’’
Meanwhile, President Nana Akufo-Addo has indicated that his administration has inherited a heavily indebted energy sector. He made the remarks when he delivered his maiden State of Nation Address on Tuesday.
“We have inherited a heavily indebted energy sector with a net debt reaching 2.4 billion Unites States Dollars as at December 2016. I have to point out the alarming fact that eight hundred million of this debt is owed to local banks which threaten their stability and that of the whole financial sector. Indeed, the huge indebtedness of the energy sector constitutes the single major hurdle to Ghanaians to enjoy reliable and affordable electricity supply.”
According to the president, ‘’there has been some improvement in the power supply since November last year, but the challenges facing Ghana’s power sector are far from over. The key problem is cost. We produce power from Akosombo at three US cents per kilowatt hour. The marginal price charged for businesses is an effective 42 cents, more than ten times the average tariff in West Africa. This makes it very difficult to start or run a business here and be competitive. The cost of energy destroys businesses large and small. It is the bane of the vulcanizer, the tailor, the dressmaker and the hairdresser, the carpenter and the wayside fitting mechanic. It destroys jobs. It compounds poverty. The current state of the energy situation in our country is unsatisfactory.’’
He said, ‘’I am proposing a number of policy interventions. We will improve on transparency in tariff setting, and introduce a new tariff policy that will reclassify consumer categories in order to protect lifeline and strategic industrial consumers. We will also reduce significantly some of the levies and taxes on the tariffs. As at the end of 2016, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) had signed 43 Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), whilst a further 23 were under discussion. Government is conducting a review of all the Power Agreements entered into by the previous government in order to prioritise, renegotiate, defer or cancel outright, if necessary, in the national interest.’’