Ranking Member on Parliament's Energy Committee, John Jinapor

Member of Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, John Jinapor is urging the Ministry of Energy and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to be honest about the ongoing power outages.

In the past weeks, most parts of the country have been experiencing sporadic power outages, also known as "dumsor."

Following the disruption, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) issued a notice to ECG, the power distribution company to develop a load-shedding timetable.

However, the ECG has insisted there is no power crisis, asserting that the unstable power supply is the result of faulty transformers.

Also, Energy Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh has denied claims of "dumsor" and challenged the public to develop their own timetable if they insist that the country is facing a power crisis.

But according to Mr Jinapor, the energy sector is suffering from generation challenges and which are impacting distribution. He therefore suggested that the PURC develop strategies to improve power generation rather than insist on the load-shedding schedule being developed.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on March 25, he said “I am very, very surprised even at the PURC directive because the main problem is generation, it has nothing to do with transformers. I thought that the PURC would have done its investigation to indeed determine that there is a generation shortfall.

“If there is a generation shortfall, the outage that occurs at the bulk supply point is controlled by GRIDCo. So GRIDCo will then have to inform ECG which bulk supply point will go off, then ECG will inform its consumers. As we speak there is a deficit in terms of generation and until that is resolved we will continue to have the load shedding we are experiencing.”

Again, Mr Jinapor also expressed concern about Dr Prempeh's response to calls for a load shedding timetable.

He argued that each time the challenges in the sector are raised, the Minister prefers to politicise them.

"I am very shocked and surprised that the minister would give such contradictory and counter instructions. He should know better that we are shedding load, and even in his interview, he couldn't refute it. He admitted that yes, they are shedding load, but in his opinion, it is better than during President Mahama’s time. And so what? That is the question. Let’s assume it's better, so people should not be given a timetable to plan because, in the minister’s opinion, it is better.

“If you admit there is load-shedding, give the people the timetable to plan. And when the people request that the outages are becoming too frequent, give us the timetable to plan, the minister says 'that those requesting the timetable should go and prepare the timetable themselves. It is extremely unfortunate, very insulting,” he added.

He advised managers of the energy sector to be honest about the challenges so they could find solutions.

On the same show, the Executive Director of the Institute of Energy Security, Nana Amoasi VII, backed Mr Jinapor's claims.

Nana Amoasi VII

He clarified that the ECG and Energy Ministry owed Ghanaians a duty to develop a timetable in the face of the recent power outages, rather than forcing its effects down the throats of the people.

“A timetable is a right for a consumer. That is not something that the ECG or the minister can choose and pick as to when we require one or not. After all, they agreed that they would supply us with power.

"That is why I have a meter in my home. I pay before I consume, so I have my money with you, and you are not giving me the power, and you can’t tell me when I will have my power,” he argued.

Regarding the minister's response to demands for a timetable from the PURC, Nana Amoasi VII said that the minister's response proves that the ECG was acting on directives from the Energy Ministry not to issue a timetable.

“Today, when we listen to the minister, it is clear that the ECG boss' refusal to churn out the timetable is fully backed by the minister and... you say that Ghanaians whoever want a timetable should churn one out.

"This is quite insulting, very insulting. To give us the posture that you are unaware that the PURC has required an agency of yours to submit some details of their own discussion means that this is an uninformed minister. And so, a timetable is a right that Ghanaians must enjoy so we can plan our life,” he added.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.