If the calculations of Bongo legislator are correct, come June 30, the country will return to the load shedding days, known locally as “dumsor.”
To avert this, Edward Bawa says government must, as a matter of urgency, present a plan to Parliament on how to settle the debt owed the utility agencies.
Edward Bawa wants a budget-line to pay off the utility services
Speaking to Kojo Yankson on the AM Show on the JOYNEWS channel on MultiTV, the member of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, gave a breakdown of the challenge facing the sector.
According to him, the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited (ECG) which until March 1, 2019, were the main distributors of power owe the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) who supply them the power.
Even further, GRIDCo also owes the generators of the power, the Volta River Authority (VRA), he said.
The VRA also owes Ghana Gas Company, the state agency that has the mandate to operate infrastructure required for the gathering, processing, transporting and marketing of natural gas resources in the country.
What is the cause of the debts?
The former Head of Communication for the Energy Ministry linked the debts to the drastic fall of the cedi.
According to Mr Bawa, the utility agencies buy their resources in the dollar, but the final consumer of power pays for it in the cedi.
The gap between the dollar and the cedi, therefore, cripples the utility services, running them into debts worth more than hundred-thousands. As of Thursday, the exchange rate stands at $1 to ¢5.56.
Blackouts in the city
The MP’s analysis of the power situation follows a streak of power outages across the country.
Residents in some parts of the city had to sleep outside their rooms to beat the heat
On Tuesday, various parts of the capital were plunged into darkness for hours. Other suburbs of the city suffered the same fate on Wednesday despite assurances from the authorities.
But speaking on the same show, NPP MP for Sekondi, Andrew Mercer denied the liquidity challenges argument advanced by his colleague.
Andrew Mercer, [middle] believes the power situation is just a technical issue
“If there are liquidity challenges, it would be persistent, it wouldn’t be a two-day problem,” Mercer insisted.
Most Ghanaians who have commented on social media are, however, not impressed with the development, most of them calling out the new power distributors, the Power Distribution Services (PDS).