Minister designate for the Power Ministry, Dr. Kwabena Donkor has insisted that the various Ministries Department Agencies (MDAs) must pay their own utility bills, a way he said will help check wastage in the country.
According to him, the Ministry of Finance allocates budget to each MDA hence the need to force them to bear their own bills.
Government has been struggling to pay utility bills of its institutions.
For this reason, it recently directed all MDAs to be migrated onto the prepaid meter system.
Despite this directive, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has complained that the various MDAs as well as some Metropolitan Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) owe it huge sums of money.
The ECG recently disconnected a number of public institutions including the Kumasi campus of the University of Education, the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, the Asunafo South District Assembly in the Brong Ahafo Region among others, for non-payment of bills.
“I sincerely believe every MDA except hospitals and security installations should be responsible for paying their electricity bills and not only that they should be put on prepaid meters…and they must be responsible for their own debt,” Dr. Donkor stated.
“That way we will avoid this fathom government debt, because an MDA will say we don’t owe and ECG says you owe and it all arises out of this misunderstanding.”
Other power generation alternatives
Dr. Kwabena Donkor, who made the suggestions during his vetting at the Appointment’s Committee of Parliament on Monday also urged government to explore other forms of power generation to improve on its energy situation .
He observed that the country’s dependence on hydro and gas has not been helpful.
“Going forward, the first should be attaining an installed capacity of 5,000 and going further to 10,000 if we have to make use of our God given resources. We have nearly two billion tonnes of iron ore in this country. If we have to develop that resource, we are going to need huge amount of dependable cheap power,” he said.
He added that “the task ahead of us as a nation is arduous. If we have to maintain a seven to ten percent GDP growth rate then we need to invest a lot more into power generation transmission and distribution and also restructure our utility institutions to be responsive to customer needs, to be efficient and to be progressive.”