Former Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor, has revealed that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is seeking a whopping US$250 million to purchase fuel for various power plants supplying the country with the electricity.
He said, the state agency responsible for the exploration, licensing, and distribution of petroleum-related activities in Ghana, came before the Energy Committee in Parliament and made the shocking demand.
John Jinapor, made the disclosure at the public lecture organized on Ghana’s Economy by the Coalition for Restoration last Thursday in Accra, to respond to the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s claims at Wednesday’s town hall meeting.
Independent checks by The Herald revealed that GNPC has been buying crude to power Karpower, AMERI Energy and others to fuel power plants in the country.
Mr Jinapor, said available data shows that the current administration is overwhelmed by the challenges in the power sector, including money to buy fuel, and charged the Akufo-Addo administration to call for help as it “struggles to find solution” to the recent power challenges facing the country.
This was after he methodically listed the Mahama administration’s investments in the country’s power sector to halt the dreaded three-year power outages the country faced.
“We handed over a resilient, strong, vibrant, dedicated energy sector to Akufo-Addo. What he has done is to turn President Mahama’s programmes upside down, mismanage the sector and today we are witnessing dumsor.”
According to him, the sector is financially bankrupt and “if we don’t face the truth and if they don’t call some of us to support them, so that even in the interest of the nation we put aside our party colours and give them some simple advice, one day…one day, they will run the energy sector to the ground and we will not have electricity again.”
Mr Jinapor has moved to question the financial standing of the country’s energy sector.
His comments follow weeks of constant nationwide erratic power supply experienced by Ghanaians.
Less than twenty-four hours after the Power Distribution Services (PDS) published a load shedding timetable, the schedule has been suspended on the directives of GRIDCO over claims that it has enough energy for the entire country.
But Mr Jinapor has said, sustainable measures need to be taken to address the challenges facing the energy sector.
“The other thing is the long term sustainability of the power sector. Gas alone is not a challenge. The major challenge today is the financial well-being of the energy sector and until that is addressed, we are going to continue to have a major challenge”.
“So, I think that the industry players and the stakeholders should just look beyond, the tie in of the gas and ensure that, we deal with the financial challenge confronting the energy sector. Everyone wants to have continuous power but it ought to be done in a transparent manner”, he noted.
Assurances from the Energy Ministry are that the erratic state of power supply in the country, is not a result of financial problems or mismanagement.
Nana Oppong Damoah, the Head of Communication at the Energy Ministry, blamed the issue on logistical challenges, noting that the deep-seated financial problems in the energy sector are not new.
“We’ve had logistical challenges with the supply of the fuel. Not that we haven’t been able to buy. We have had challenges financially in the energy sector for a long time, which is why we have called it a legacy debt situation.” he stated.
He cited the partial shutdown of gas infrastructure over the last few weeks and challenges with fuel supply as contributory factors to the recent power challenges that have led to some form of load shedding in the country.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had a slip in the supply of fuel along the value chain because there are some processes that have delayed and that is what has led to the current situation we are seeing,” he explained.
John Peter Amewu, had called on Ghanaians to dismiss claims by the Minority in Parliament that government, has returned the country to an era of erratic power supply popularly called “Dumsor”.
The Minority, has been tough on government to be candid with Ghanaians and on the recent power outages across the country.
They say, the recent power outages are a reflection of the financial troubles facing the energy sector due to government’s mismanagement of the sector.
Many parts of the country continue to be hit with widespread blackouton a daily basis.
The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has also urged more transparency from the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) as Ghanaians grow more concerned about a possible return to the load shedding that marked the country’s power crisis some six years ago.