Executive Director of the Small Hydro Development Company, Kwadwo Poku has called for the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to be split into the Ministry of Power and the Ministry of Oil and Gas.
According to him, this would help solve issues of indebtedness and other related challenges in the power sector.
Speaking at the Energy Dialogue held at the Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra, Kwadwo Poku stated that the Ministry of Energy has outgrown the people managing it, thus a split would allow the various challenges affecting the sector to be adequately addressed.
“I think the first point is to now have a split of the Ministry and have Ministry of Power, Ministry of Oil and Gas.”
“The Ministry of Power is very key, reason being that there is a lot of challenges in that area. We all came out of Dumsor and there are remnant problems that still exist. The key fundamental challenge is indebtedness.”
The challenge of indebtedness, according to Kwadwo Poku arises from the pricing of power in the country.
He said, “How do you get Ghanaians to pay an amount of money for electricity at the same time looking at the socio-economic policies that is in place and looking at the business aspect of it?
“Looking at a business man establishing an IPP making money from it and us as Ghanaians paying our fair price. That is the key challenge facing this country.”
Also speaking at the event, Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, Dr. Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah stated that if the Ministry is to be split, the Ministry of Oil and Gas should solely concentrate on upstream.
He said to avoid any confusion with the roles of each Ministry, there should be a common policy in place to direct the affairs of the Ministries.
“If you split them, you’d have a situation like we had in 2014-2015 when the Ministry of Energy which was then split into two in 2015, had the Ministry of Power and then the Ministry of Energy which was to do with oil and gas. We had big problems where each ministry was going in its own direction.
“At the end of the day we ended up having gas so expensive you cannot use it to generate electricity and sell it for any meaningful purpose and that is what we have inherited today. So if there should be a split then the Ministry of Oil and Gas should deal with upstream and after the oil and gas is produced, it should come to the downstream where it will be considered as part of the energy mix (the power sector),” he said.