Co-chair of the Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), Dr Steve Manteaw, has called for the dilution of government control over state enterprises in the energy sector. 

This comes after the National Democratic Congress criticised President Akufo-Addo for his decision to relocate the AMERI Power Plant and rename it the Kumasi 1 Thermal Power Plant.

The NDC believes the decision is unrealistic and costly but the governing New Patriotic Party is touting and celebrating the move at a commissioning ceremony on Wednesday.

However, according to Dr Manteaw, the Vota River Authority that solely funded the relocation and building of the infrastructure should be allowed to work without the "fanfare".

Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story, on Wednesday, he said “why should politicians be taking credit for work done by a technocratic institution like VRA? If you have state-owned enterprises, they are supposed to be companies and they do their work as expected of them. 

“And then you have politicians taking credit for the work done by a company. If it is not the politicisation of these institutions, what else could that be? VRA was set up to do these kinds of things and they are doing it. So why should politicians be dancing around and making fanfare of it? I don't understand it,” Dr Manteaw stated.

He noted that the political interference in the operations of these state enterprises can lead to their collapse adding that if the politicisation is not confronted head-on, the problem facing the energy sector can never be solved.

Citing the GCB Bank as an example, he explained that it took privatising the bank to save it from ruins and halt the interferences from successive governments.

Dr Manteaw said that the politicisation led to the over-exposure of GCB “ to the extent that the bank was brought to its knees and the government had to take a decision to privatise it. The government was directing where loans should go. And loans, credit facilities were established beyond the capability and capacity of DCB to Tema Oil Refinery.”

“In the end, we came to the brink of collapse of both Tema Oil Refinery and GCB. I mean it's high time politicians wash their hands off the operations of state enterprises. We've had enough of that. Look at GNPC, same problem. “

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“There is politicisation of that institution to the extent that workers' morale today is so low in that cooperation. I think the time has come for us to see how we dilute government control over state enterprises," Dr Mantaew said.


President Nana Akufo-Addo officially commissioned the first phase of the Anwomaso 1 Thermal Power Plant in Kumasi on Wednesday, April 17.

With a total installed capacity of 150 megawatts, the plant marks a significant milestone in efforts to ensure sustainable electricity supply, particularly in the Ashanti Region.

Speaking at the commissioning, President Akufo-Addo emphasised that there is a growing demand for power as the population and economic activities of the country continue to expand.

According to him, projects like the power station are important in boosting the country’s energy supply to meet the expectations of Ghanaians.

The Kumasi 1 Thermal Power Project came into being after the expiration of the BOOT agreement between Ameri Energy Limited and the Government of Ghana (GoG) on the erstwhile Ameri power plant.

In 2022, the plant was handed over to the GoG and subsequently transferred to the VRA.

Accordingly, the Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, together with the VRA took a strategic decision to relocate the plant to Kumasi and since then, the project has been named the Kumasi 1 Thermal Power Project and funded entirely from the VRA’s internally generated funds.

The project is being executed in two phases; the first phase involved the relocation of the first six (6) TM2500 units with a total generation capacity of 150MW. The second phase will be completed in June 2024, to increase the plant’s capacity from the 150 MW to 250 MW.

The project is being executed by VRA’s in-house team of engineers, with support from some selected service providers.

But reacting to this, the NDC is alleging a $35 million investment in the relocation of the plant from Takoradi to Kumasi.

"Need we say that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government, having borrowed so much with very little to show is seeking to rebrand and take credit for most of the projects initiated by the visionary John Mahama just to create a false sense of performance,” the Ashanti Regional Communications Officer for the NDC, Abass Nurudeen stressed.

He insists that government intends to discredit former President John Mahama by changing the details of the deal.

“But let it be known that when dumsor was collapsing the businesses of inhabitants of the Ashanti Region and beyond, it was John Mahama's Ameri Power plant (howsoever it is called) that was brought in to save the situation."

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