To Ease Electricity Crisis
By Gifty Arthur
Reports that power crisis may degenerate next year, has compelled the President, John Dramani Mahama, to opt for an Emergency Power Plant, to safe the situation.
Sources at the Flagstaff House, said that the President, was deeply worried about the energy crisis and he is bent on solving it, however, possible.
President Mahama’s decision to procure the emergency power plant, comes on the heels of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) extension of the current load-shedding to industries that were earlier excluded.
The inclusion of the industries, players have warned would lead to increase in job losses, and hike in prices of goods and services.
It has also been warned that the power situation could collapse the economy completely, hence President Mahama, has quietly assembled some energy experts and this would soon result in the acquisition of the emergency power plant.
Indeed, with Christmas and the New Year festivities barely two week away, customers especially shop owners, food joints, hotels, event organizers and others, are wondering how they are going to cash in on the yuletide.
It will be recalled that few weeks ago, President Mahama, met with bosses of the Volta River Authority (VRA), ECG GRIDCO, Energy Ministry officials and others, to deliberate on the supply of power.
This meeting precipitated the setting up of the Ministry for Power, headed by vocal Member of Parliament (MP) for Pru East, Dr. Kwabena Donkor.
A statement from the Office of the President and signed by the Chief of Staff, Prosper Doughlas Bani said, “The establishment of the Ministry forms part of a restructuring of the power sector to ensure more stability and security of power”.
It said, “The President expects the new Ministry to bring about a sharper focus on the generation, supply and efficiency of power to match the growth the economy is experiencing” adding, “when approved by Parliament, the new Minister will be expected to mobilize all human and material resources available to resolve the current challenges facing the power sector”.
The Minister designate, who during the Mills administration, served as a deputy Minister for Energy ,under Minster Dr. Joe Oteng Agyei, is yet to be vetted by Parliament.
After that crisis meeting too, President Mahama, also fired the Managing Director of ECG, Rev. Ing. William Hutton-Mensah, for unknown reason and replaced him with his deputy, Robert Dwamena, as acting MD.
This was received with series of demonstrations by workers of the company, but the President assured them that it was for the greater good.
The president in an interview with Metro’s Paul Adom-Okyere on Good Evening Ghana, explained that he did not sack the ECG boss, but he was only reassign to a more suitable post at the new Ministry of Power.
The Atuabo Gas Plant, has come on stream sending gas to power the thermal plants, thus mitigating the power crisis somewhat.
The emergency power plant, is yet one of the measures a worried President Mahama is adopting to remedy the situation. It is not yet clear when the plants will arrive in Ghana.