Former Deputy Power Minister, John Abdulai Jinapor has called on Parliament to summon power sector players to account for recent intermittent power outage experienced nationwide.
According to the Yapei-Kusawgu MP, the actions of stakeholders in the energy sector have left the sector in disarray, therefore the need for Parliament to ascertain the facts on Ghana’s power supply.
“It is obvious the energy sector is in disarray and I think that this is the time for Parliament to step in. It is Parliament’s job to ensure that we serve the people. We must hold the institutions accountable.”
Speaking to Evans Mensah on Top Story, John Abdulai Jinapor revealed that he is writing to the Chairman of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee to demand clarity from the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) on their responsibilities to provide uninterrupted power supply.
“I am writing to the Chairman of the Committee because he is the Chairman and I am the ranking member, appealing to him that as a matter of urgency, these power sector players ought to be summoned and I am not saying invited, summoned before the Mines and Energy Committee. Because we represent the people of Ghana,” he said.
His concerns come on the back of multiple timelines provided by GRIDCo in resolving the present energy challenges and the decision of ECG to commence work somewhere in August.
In an earlier briefing to discuss Ghana’s recent frequent power outage, PRO for GRIDCo disclosed that inadequate power supply in the Greater Accra Region would be a thing of the past by the end of July.
But in a recent development, the Director of Engineering at the same company, Owusu Afriyie has indicated that works on power supply have been timeline to end in September.
Responding to the shift in timeline, Mr Jinapor who iterated his role in the energy sector during previous administrations stated that is unacceptable to take such time to upgrade systems to resolve the erratic power supply.
He noted that his outfit on countless times upgraded the systems without frequent power outage.
“When I was a Minister, we upgraded a lot of the transmission lines from 161 to 330kv. Why didn’t we tell Ghanaians because we are upgrading transmission lines, you are going to have an erratic supply of power. If they knew that by upgrading the transmission lines there is going to erratic supply of power, why did they not inform Ghanaians? It had to take you the media to keep insisting and informing the people that there is erratic power supply before in a reactionary mode, they are now giving us this information,” he added.
Also, the Electricity Company of Ghana has disclosed that it would commence work in September to December after GRIDCo has upgraded the 161kv transmission line to the 330kv transmission line in August in Kumasi.
According to the ranking member on the Mines and Energy Committee in Parliament, the ECG cannot afford to sit aloof and get into the picture later in August to mop up and rectify some grievances from GRIDCo’s set up.
“ECG has to pick that power for you the consumer and ECG is sitting. They are not working concurrently. They will sit down idling till August when the transmission lines are upgraded then they will begin to work,” he stated.
Assessing the urgency of the matter, Mr Jinapor suggested that the ECG should commence work “so that you can synchronise your work so that by the time the 330kv is ready, you can then pick it and feed it to customers.”
“Why do you need about six months to drop a line,” he quizzed.
He further noted that one of the underlying challenges has always been power congestion but several calls for the government to provide a solution has been unsuccessful.
“The GRIDCo man told you that there is congestion and you mentioned it. That is the reality on the ground. The GRIDCo boss said it way back in 2018 that by the artificial reduction in their tarrifs, they no longer will be able to upgrade and maintain the transmission lines and that come this period, we are going to pay for it. That is what we are experiencing,” he stated.
He insisted that the said upgrade of transmission lines should have been completed two years ago.
Meanwhile, the Energy Minister, Matthew Opoku Prempeh in a press briefing on Tuesday explained that the challenges faced are not due to financial constraint but the former Deputy Energy Minister thinks otherwise.
Mr Jinapor revealed that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta informed Parliament that GRIDCo’s financial situation was in a deplorable state so much that they cannot even continue to manage their projects.
“The Energy Minister should give us a break…..What have they been sitting doing till the lines got congested? Lines don’t get congested overnight. They build-up. What were they doing all these years when the lines were getting congested and building to the extent that now the lines are congested and chocked and any time they try to transmit power, there is a major drip. What kind of cock and bull story is this?” he concluded.
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