Ghana’s Power Crisis: Jobs Lost, Political Tensions Rise

Charles Ayitey Jul 26, 2016 at 02:16pm

July 26, 2016 at 02:16 pm | Money Moves

Charles Ayitey

Charles Ayitey | Contributor

July 26, 2016 at 02:16 pm | Money Moves

(Photo: howafrica.com)

The government of Ghana is under pressure from angry citizens and the main opposition party – the New Patriotic Party (NPP), following recent bouts of severe power outages.

Vice presidential candidate of the NPP, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia projects that Ghana, West Africa’s second-largest economy, has lost close to over $3 billion to the power crisis (‘Dumsor’) since 2011, citing the loss of jobs and depreciation in the value of the cedi against international currencies.

Ghana’s President Mahama says the severe energy crisis must be blamed on the inability of  Nigeria to provide Ghana with gas thermal plants – a development he claims has led to the shutdown of Ghana’s Asogli power plant and many other thermal plants in Ghana.

Ghana’s ranking member on the Energy Committee of Parliament, K.T Hammond, in response to the president’s assertion argues that government is “hopelessly confused” on the best way(s) to permanently solve the protracted energy crisis.

“They said they knew what the problem was, they knew the prescription, it found its way into the party manifesto and then here we are, hopelessly, uselessly, completely confused, convoluted they can’t get it done and they know it, vote them out,” KT Hammond revealed.

So far, government is feared to be in collision with the nation’s electricity distributor, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), as workers have alleged that the government was preventing the company from publishing a prepared load, shedding timetable – a claim the government fiercely denies.

Meanwhile, pressure mounts on the government to refinance debts to the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCO) as the latter is feared to owe in excess of $180 million dollars to Nigeria’s N-gas.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s main power generator, Volta River Authority (VRA), had earlier projected that it needed $1.5 billion to improve the country’s protracted power crisis as the president reveals that Ghanas needs to generate at least 220 megawatts annually in order to overcome the power crisis.

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