Minority angry over reduction in Rural Electrification budget

The Minority in Parliament has raised concerns about what it says is a reduction in budgetary allocations for the Rural Electrification Programme this year.

They are worried a lot more communities that should have been added onto the national grid would not have the opportunity to be connected.

A $92million contract between Ghana government and the Chinese Company, Hunan Construction Engineering Group Limited is to facilitate the execution of the rural electrification projects in the Eastern, Volta and Northern regions.

However, the Minority is questioning why the amount allocated to the programme last year has been slashed to one third.

Deputy Ranking Member on Parliament’s Energy and Mines Committee, Adam Mutawakilu told Joy News in an interview it will not allow the project to collapse.

“That means rural electrification will suffer, that is why we are questioning why there is a decline from GHS1,011,000 million in 2016 towards rural electrification to GHS49 million.

He also revealed that government is streamlining the energy sector levy it promised to scrap, something the minority is not happy about.

In the heat of the 2016 campaign, the then opposition NPP promised to scrap the Energy Sector Levy which has brought untold hardships to the citizenry.

However upon the assumption of power, the then Energy Minister nominee Boakye Agyarko who has now been approved, said the government will rather reduce the levy.

“We will revise the energy sector levies for the simple fact that if we rely on the present tax fiscal space to deal with this matter, we will not get very far. If we rely on the local banks who have exceeded their single line obligors in order to reify the problem we have we will not get very far.

“We will start by reviewing the levies downwards and as we finish the financial engineering of the non-recourse approach then it may be necessary not to have it altogether,” he stated.

But Mutawakilu believes the government is playing games with Ghanaians.

“We are also smart, we will expose them,” he promised.