By Gifty Arthur
Minister for Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, has expressed government’s regret over the on-going load-shedding exercise being experienced in most parts of the Greater Accra and Ashanti Regions.
At the usual Meet the Press conference organized in Accra on Monday, Dr. Donkor, a Member of Parliament (MP) for Pru East, in the Brong Ahafo Region, who until his appointment by President John Mahama, lashed out at managers and even journalists for accepting flimsy excuses on why they had load shedding, assured Ghanaians that government was doing everything possible to bring the situation to normalcy.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Power, permit me to say that we are very much concerned about the current supply challenges confronting the nation and its consequences on industry, homes and the citizenry.
“We wish to assure that we are determined to adopt every strategy necessary to bring an end to the load shedding…what I can say is that load shedding will end this year,” Dr. Donkor said.
According to Dr. Donkor, “the Ghana power system has continued to experience supply inadequacies for some time now mainly due to the non-availability of some generating units through faults, mandatory inspection and routine maintenance, poor hydrology, fuel supply challenges amongst others.
It is worthy of note that whilst the country has been experiencing an exponential increase in the demand for energy over the years, it is sad to mention that there has not been a commensurate increase in generation capacity to match the demand”.
For a while now, customers of electricity in the above-mentioned regions have been experiencing severe power outages resulting in job losses, job cuts, closure of firms and factories and general hardship on the populace who depend mainly on commercial and domestic electric power for their day to day activities.
In the past, several excuses have been given by the various players in the sector like the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCO) and the Volta River Authority (VRA) gave conflicting answers as to when the power outages popular known as “dumsor dumsor” will end.
But the new Minister, who has not been spared for failing to propose speedy resolution to the worsening energy crisis, said “we have been working around the clock to increase our generation capacity to match up with the increasing demand; this has culminated in an increased installed capacity from 1,810mw in the year 2008 to 2,845.5mw as we speak today.
Projected Ghana demand for this week is estimated at 2,109 MW. The total available generation capacity is currently at 1,494 MW (peak) and 1,238 MW (off-peak) respectively, this therefore leaves a deficit in generation capacity on the National Interconnected Transmission Network (NITS)”.
Meanwhile, Dr. Donkor, who following the press conference has received several backlashes from critics, has promised to resign from his current position, if he is unable to resolve the crisis by December 2015 which is eleven months away.
Speaking to Accra-based Joy FM, Dr. Donkor said that “at least the end of the year is December so you can hold me to that…Yes I will resign”, was his reply to Elton’s query whether Ghanaians would be justified in calling for his head if the situation persists by close of 2015.