Business News of 2013-12-11

More rural communities connect to national grid

Some 2,073 communities in the Western and Central regions are to be connected to the national grid under the rural electrification project, embarked upon by the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to ensure speedy development of the communities.
In the Western Region, a total of 1,500 rural communities have been selected to benefit out of which about 600 have so far been connected. In the Central Region a total of 573 communities are to benefit, from which about 40 communities have been connected.
The project, which is countrywide, was to ensure that the communities improved on their social and commercial activities. Speaking at various communities visited in the Western and Central regions, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr. Emmanuel Kofi Armah Buah said government had a social contract to improve the lives of the people of Ghana, especially those in the rural area.
The minister said his move to the communities to monitor the projects was to ensure that it was delivered to the people. “We will not sit in Accra and presume that projects directed to the communities were being executed. We at the ministry decided to monitor, move to the communities, fold our sleeves and help in ensuring that the projects were delivered,” Mr Buah said.
He said it was important to ensure that various communities, which hold the potential for serious economic activities and the transformation of the rural economy, had access to power to address challenges such as value addition and conservation.
The team also toured the completed projects at Akonu, Egyan, Dominlimo, Kukuaville, Jomoroeshiem and Nuabesa in the Nzema District and moved to the Ahanta West where ongoing and completed projects at Asuboi, Animakrom, Seremanu and Adelazo were commissioned.
The team also toured the sub stations B and D of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in Takoradi before going through Shama and Anhowiom, Ahwoim junction, Kumasi, Appiahkrom, Appiko, Camp C, Ankaase and Bepokokoo among others.
At Jomo in the Nzema East, the Chief of the Community, Nana Amoako Anuah, Gyasehene III, of Lower Axim Traditional Area III, said since the community settled in 1948, this was the first time they had light.
He noted that the location of the community made several companies express interest in investing in resort facilities to open up the community but due to the lack power and good roads, the people refused to come.
“We can now engage in commercial activities and we also hope to have the complement of the resort companies to move in now to open our community for bigger business and we are grateful to government,” he said.
The contractor and sub-contractors working in the communities told to the minister and his team that, bad roads to some of the beneficiary communities made the transportation of materials to the sites very difficult.
They said at a point, right of way enters into areas where members of the rural communities already have their farms and made it difficult to reach an agreement to enter, with many farmers demanding compensation.