Business News of Tuesday, 5 February 2019
The Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu has admitted that ECG’s debt to energy providers is as a result of government’s inability to pay bills of state agencies and institutions.
Highlighting the major challenge faced, the Energy Minister said the Akufo-Addo-led government inherited a heavily indebted ECG with tariff well above 20cents per kilowatts, therefore making it difficult for government to pay the utility bills of state institutions such as ministries, departments, state universities, public schools and other state institutions across the country.
According to him, government’s indebtedness to distribution companies like the Volta River Authority and Bui Power Authority is over US$500m, and has resulted to its gradual collapse and ineffectiveness in power supply.
“This inability to pay ECG also results in ECG not being able to pay fully what it owes the power generators especially the state power producers(VRA and BPA) resulting in a gradual collapse of the entire power system” he noted.
Mr Amewu however expressed optimism that in view of the challenges government poses on ECG, his ministry has initiated a Solar Rooftop Programme to power government and public buildings to reduce expenditure on utilities.
“A contract was awarded for the installation of a 65 kilowatts solar rooftop system at the Ministry of Energy” Peter Amewu noted as he addressed the media at a briefing in Accra.
He further indicated that, the Ministry of Energy is also undertaking feasibility studies to integrate at least one-megawatt solar into the energy mix at the Jubilee House.
Reacting to concerns on the consistent power fluctuations ‘dumsor’, the Minister said “we have addressed ‘Dumsor’, what is happening now is not management problem but purely technical problems”.