Former Deputy Minister of Energy, John Jinapor, has accused the Akufo Addo administration of deception about the current spell of power outages, also known as ‘dumsor’.
In a release, the Yapei Kusawgu MP demanded that the Akufo-Addo government stops the antics and tell the people the truth about the power crisis, which in his opinion is that dumsor is indeed upon the country again and it is because the power sector is trapped in debt.
“Government must come clean on the current power crisis as a matter of urgency and desist from engaging in a blame game. Shifting blame and providing conflicting information only goes to exacerbate the crisis which is threatening lives and businesses across the country,” he wrote.
He pointed out that amidst the intermittent power outages and long spells of low voltage since the beginning of the year, government agencies have been giving all sorts of explanations that do not address the issues.
“It should be noted that since the beginning of the year, GRIDCo alone has given six different reasons for the major national outages aside the intermittent localised blackouts. What is even more disturbing is despite confirmation from GRIDCo that the country will continue to experience these power outages into the foreseeable future, the schedule has been put on hold due to political pressure from the executive.”
According to Mr. Jinapor, it is a well-known fact among energy sector players that the current outages in the country is due to financial challenges and not because of technical challenges as being claimed by GRIDCo and Government officials.
This, he explained, is because the transmission lines and transformers are congested due to underinvestment and lack of regular maintenance resulting from the poor financial health of the energy sector SOEs.
He reminded that in March 2018, the current CEO of GRIDCo had cautioned that the Country was likely to experience major power supply challenges after President Akufo-Addo had taken a populist decision to slash the revenue flows of GRIDCo and other utility agencies.
This caution, he said, fell on deaf ears, leading to the current state of affairs.
“Most of the Energy sector SOEs have continued to witness worsening financial positions since the assumption of office by President Akufo-Addo despite his administration receiving over 12 billion cedis in ESLA revenues and almost 20 billion in petroleum revenues over the past 4 years.”
He noted that the ECG which recorded a profit of over GHC 500 million under President Mahama in 2016 has posted cumulative losses of over 4 billion cedis since the 2017 financial year.
“The GRIDCo which also posted profits in 2016 has equally taken a turn for the worst with total comprehensive loss of over 600 million cedis as captured in their 2018 financial Statement. Due to the worsening financial position of GRIDCo, Agence Française de Développement has had to withhold funding for a major upgrade of the National transmission line culminating in congestion of the GRID,” Jinapor revealed.
“As if that is not enough, the Energy Commission which is the technical regulator of the sector has seen its budget slashed by more than half on account of the Capping and Realignment Act rendering the commission ineffective.”
He cited the 2019 PIAC report, which highlighted a debt of US$334,636,806.22 that had accumulated from the supply of raw Gas by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to Ghana Gas (GNGC).
He added that no payment was received, largely on account of VRA’s inability to pay GNGC for the lean gas supplied bringing the total indebtedness of GNGC to GNPC in respect of lean gas supplies to US$668,118,346.04.
“From the foregoing, it is obvious the current load shedding (Dumsor) being inflicted on Ghanaians is as a result of mismanagement and unnecessary political interference by the Akufo-Addo government in the management of the Energy sector,’ Mr. Jinapor wrote.
He lamented that the state of mismanagement is in spite of the fact that the Mahama government had bequeathed 230 million cedis to the Akufo-Addo government by way of ESLA accumulations.