The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has painted a gloomy picture of Ghana’s current power sector, describing it as being in a coma that needs urgent attention in reviving it.
According to the Executive Director of ACEP, Benjamin Boakye, the challenges bedeviling the sector have persisted for a long time and is due to government’s failure to implement the proposed solutions from industry players in cleaning up the industry.
Ghana’s energy sector debt has been projected to rise to $12.5 billion by 2023 if the government does not take concrete steps to address the challenges.
Contrary to the Sector Minister’s claim that the energy debt accumulation has declined, Mr. Boakye indicated that the debt is rather ballooning as generation, transmission, and distribution are increasing.
He further said that the issues at hand require a practical approach to resolving them rather than holding press conferences and issuing speeches.
“There is a bigger problem. Let the country know that we may have the power on, the electricity will be on but we are accumulating debts that are absorbing the budget. That is taking away our investment in agriculture, education, and health because the government has propped it up.”
“The thing is in a coma and we are sustaining it. We need a practical solution that takes us from that realm to fixing it and ensuring that the power sector runs as a business. Anywhere in the world that the power sector runs, it is not press conferences, it is not the minister speaking. It is the sector working as a business and fixing it. That is where we are missing it.” he indicated.
Mr. Benjamin Boakye’s comments come on the heels of Energy Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh’s update on the power situation in the country.
The Energy Minister refuted claims that the erratic power supply is due to financial challenges, insisting that such claims are borne out of wishful thinking by critics of President Akufo-Addo’s administration.
But the ACEP boss disagrees, arguing that the reports from the various agencies under the Energy Ministry do not support the minister’s claim.
He added that the other sectors of the economy such as agriculture, education, and health continue to suffer investment due to the woes facing the energy sector.
“The speeches unfortunately have outpaced actions, planning and delivering on what we really need to deliver. The reports of the agencies are online. They speak to the reality of the situation. They speak to what ought to be done, the investment requirement.”
“So when you issue a statement or deliver a speech that is contrary to what is in the document, you can get away with the ordinary people but I cannot defend you on that. It is not my job. I can’t defend you on what is contrary to what is in the document and what the truth is from the engineers and the sector players”, he noted.
The Energy think tank is of the view that the government will be able to decisively deal with the problems confronting the sector if it fixes the Electricity Company of Ghana to recoup monies owed it.
Mr. Boakye, however, called for honesty and transparency in resolving the energy sector.
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