The Energy Minister, Peter Amewu says Ghana’s energy sector is gradually getting out of the woods.
He noted that at the end of 2019, government had paid all of its bills to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), leaving a credit of ¢500,000.
He said President Akufo-Addo’s government is committed to addressing the financial challenges of the energy sector and that they were on course to fulfilling it.
Mr. Amewu said this on Tuesday in Accra, when he gave an update on efforts being made by the government to clear some of its outstanding debts owed to ECG, during the meet the press series organised by the Ministry of Information.
He said on assumption of office (in 2017), the administration was confronted with a huge indebtedness to ECG; stating that “As of December 2016, when the NDC (National Democratic Congress) left office, then under former President John Dramani Mahama, the entire bills owed ECG by government at that time was ¢2.63 billion”.
He said the NPP government on assumption of office, ensured that it was current on bills incurred during its tenure from 2017 to date.
He said the government had paid two billion Ghana cedis annually to cover its bills with the ECG.
“Today, at the end of 2019, all government bills with ECG have been paid and government has a credit of ¢500,000.00 with ECG.
“With an average bill payment of about ¢100,000.00 per month, the credit balance of over ¢500,000.00, is enough and more than enough to pay for government bills from January to April 2020,” Mr. Amewu said.
He said an additional payment of ¢4.14 billion had also been made to various fuel suppliers of power producers, which is yet to be credited to government in an ongoing reconciliation exercise.
He said the energy sector reform programme, which was instituted had already been approved by Cabinet.
“I am happy to report that under the energy sector reform programme, government will continue to work towards a reliable and effective electricity company in this period,” the Minister said.
With regards to the government’s utility mitigation package for Ghanaians, Mr Amewu said, Government has already made some payments to ECG as a result of the Covid-19 (energy) subsidy that was introduced for a period of three months.
“You will recollect that President Akufo-Addo made a broadcast to the nation that as part of the alleviation strategy during the period of the COVID-19 Ghanaians are expected to enjoy some reliefs from utility companies,” he said.
“And I am happy to announce that that process is currently ongoing. Customers throughout the country have demonstrated and testified that this relief from the Government is actually real,” Mr. Amewu added.