Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu and Ranking Member, Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, John Abdulai Jinapor, has warned that Ghana’s power sector is on the verge of collapse.
In an interview, Mr. Jinapor who is also a former Deputy Minister of Energy said one of the headlight indicators is the financial troubles of the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo).
GRIDCo, which is in charge of bulk distribution of power has been having troubles discharging its mandate in recent days, with its failure to supply the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) leading to weeks of power outages in the Bono Region.
“Now from what I am seeing, we are sitting on a ticking bomb, the system is not improving,” John Jinapor told the PM Express.
He added that “if you generate the power, you must fill it to the point of consumption so you must improve on the grid and make it more resilient.”
However, according to Mr. Jinapor, GRIDCo is so cash-strapped it cannot carry out the necessary upgrades.
The Auditor-General has revealed in a report that about ¢230 million owed GRIDCo has not been paid.
“If you look at GRIDCo’s audited account, their revenues in 2016 was about 607 so let’s take it that it’s 700 million. In 2017 it increased to 715 million, 2018, it decreased to 500 million so there was a dip of about 280 million.
In spite of this, he said the government has been doing populist propaganda with low electricity tariffs to score cheap political points.
He said in 2018, GRIDCo’s Chief Executive, Johnathan Amoako-Baah, had lamented that the company was losing 280 million following some reductions in electricity tariffs by the PURC, indicating that the revenue loss could affect the effective operations of the company.
“This is 2018, he laid it bare that look this populist move of claiming that you are reducing tariffs and bear in mind GRIDCo took the maximum shock in terms of the tariff reduction. We cannot do that, and that in the near future, we’ll find ourselves in this situation,” Jinapor warned.