The Minority in Parliament has continued its criticism of the government over its management of the power sector.
Addressing a press conference, the Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, John Jinapor, chided the government for its inconsistent communications on the current power challenges which have led to intermittent power cuts in parts of the country.
“It should be noted that since the beginning of the year, GRIDCo alone has given six different reasons for the major national outages aside the intermittent localised blackouts, with the most ridiculous reason being attributed to trees falling on high tension transmission lines,” Mr. Jinapor observed.
“Today not only are we witnessing unreliable supply of power, the obnoxious double track system has been exported to the power sector under this government,” the MP added.
He further urged the government to come clean on the real cause of the power challenges.
“It is obvious there is something more serious happening within Ghana’s energy sector beyond the unconvincing excuses and blame game by managers of the sector,” Mr. Jinapor said.
Given the Minority’s assessment of the sector, he posited that “the current load shedding being inflicted on Ghanaians is as a result of mismanagement and unnecessary political interference by the Akufo-Addo Government in the management of the Energy sector.”
Mr. Jinapor warned that “shifting blame and providing conflicting information only goes to exacerbate the crisis which is threatening lives and businesses across the country.”
To address the challenges in the power sector, the Minority at the press conference proposed that:
- The Energy sector players must be proactive and inform (Publish a schedule) electricity consumers who will be affected by these outages in advance so that affected customers can take remedial steps to mitigate the effect of such outages.
- Government must cut down on wasteful expenditure and Inject the much-needed capital into the power sector especially GRIDCo to make up for the impaired cash flow of these utilities.
- Government must desist from political interference in the management of the Energy sector. Consequently, Government must refrain from engaging in political appointments especially within middle management levels when vacancies are declared.
- Government and its communicators must desist from engaging in the propaganda on excess capacity and come out with a formula for absorbing capacity charges as part of operating cost.
- Power sector managers must ensure that they pursue Long term planning to ensure fuel security for generating assets at the least cost possible.
- Government must allow Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to take the responsibility for their fuel supply requirements.
- Immediate steps must be taken to aggressively address ECG’s spiralling technical and commercial losses currently estimated by its worker unions at 34%
- The Ministry of Energy must conduct a comprehensive reconciliation of the total indebtedness of all players including government and its SOEs including (GNPC, GNGC, VRA, GRIDCo, CENIT, ECG, NEDCo) in a transparent manner.
- The Ministry of finance must take steps to utilize the $1 billion sovereign bond borrowed in 2020 to address the financial challenges of the Energy sector.
- Government must ensure that Energy sector SOEs Publish details of their financial statements including details and ageing of their indebtedness as well as debts owed to them on time.