Former Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor wants the government to be candid in explaining the reasons for the recent power outages.
He says all explanations provided by the government so far are palpably false as the blackouts recently experienced across the country is due to a huge financial burden in the energy sector.
This week marked the fourth time in three years that Ghana has faced near-total grid shutdown, a situation government blamed on the disruption from the construction of the road interchange at the Pokuase-APC junction.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, John Jinapor insisted that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) must be truthful to Ghanaians and admit that the power rationing has become necessary due to the debt owed by major players in the power distribution chain.
He said the construction of the road interchange as claimed by the government was far halted before the beginning of the blackouts.
“Because you don’t have money, today when we are experiencing ‘dumsor’, you tell us that the very work that has been halted is responsible for the load shedding. It doesn’t make sense.”
“There are persistent power outages because we are not paying for the power we consume. We are running huge losses. Let us take a holistic approach and concede that there are serious financial issues and let’s all come together to see how we can resolve these challenges. We can’t continue to blame this problem on tripping. If you knew you were going to do an upgrade and it is going to affect transmission, it would have been proper to issue a schedule ahead of time. This is an attempt to deceive the people of Ghana. They are having a major challenge and this government should agree, concede and let’s help resolve the challenge”, he added.
Why the debts?
Providing more reasons to back his claim, the Member of Parliament for Yapei/Kusawgu accused the government of misappropriating monies needed to revamp the energy industry.
He also blamed utility service providers of mismanaging resources allocated to them aimed at helping them serve the citizenry with a substantial amount of energy.
“They are not using the ESLA levy properly. ESLA levy is supposed to generate over GHc3billon annually. And we ought to use that to pay the debts and use part of it to cushion challenges. They are rather borrowing the money and using it for pension fund. MMMDAs, MDAS are not paying for the fuel that they consume. This is creating a major bottleneck in the value chain. The power utility agencies are not making efficient use of the resources available. That is why we are seeing this huge accumulated debt.”
More blackouts expected as GRIDCo urges PDS to redistribute power
Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) has served notice that households should expect power cuts over the next five days after it advised the Power Distribution Service (PDS) to begin the redistribution of power.
GRIDCo in a statement said the Pokuase disruption has “limited the capacity of the transmission network.”
“GRIDCo had accordingly advised Power Distribution Services (PDS) to redistribute loads at various Bulk Supply Points to ensure system stability. This may result in outages to some electricity consumers,” the statement said.
The Chief Executive Officer of GRIDCo, Jonathan Amoako-Baah had earlier said he expected the challenges to last for a few days.
The company has also stressed that there is no load shedding ongoing.
ACEP urges GRIDCO, others to be more open with consumers
The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has called for more transparency from 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.
GRIDCo has over the years failed to provide comprehensive reasons for the occurrences.
ACEP in a statement stressed that “GRIDCo, and for that matter, every power utility, must inform Ghanaians well ahead of time about hiccups in the system so as to prevent the kind of confusion and public agitation we see now.”
By: Nii Larte Lartey | citinewsroom.com | Ghana | [email protected]