General News of 2014-05-28

Power crisis: NPP jabs Mahama over broken promises

Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Energy has advised President John Mahama and his Minister of Energy Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah to desist from giving deadlines for ending Ghana's energy crisis.
"For the life of me…I don't understand why the minister keeps giving deadlines. He should just keep quiet," a frustrated William Owurako Aidoo fired off on Joy FM's Super Morning Show.
Ghana's power authorities - Electricity Company of Ghana and Volta River Authority - have come under fire after a load management schedule was abandoned - exposing consumers to erratic power supply.
The Volta River Authority has stated, some faulty power plants are undergoing maintenance, which have caused a loss of about 300 megawatts of power. Water levels at Ghana's dams are reported "extremely low".
He says the ongoing erratic power supply across the country is due to maintenance works.
No one knows when power will be available and this uncertainty is making business a dreadful experience.
Predicting the crisis
The president has not been uncertain in predicting an end to the power crisis. In a bid to assure Ghanaians, the President predicted the crisis would end in May 2014.
The erratic crisis resurrected in 2012 and has been punctuated by occasional reliefs through a load management system.
President John Mahama had indicated that normal supply of power will resume in October 2012 but that was missed. Undeterred, he promised that the power rationing will end by November 2013 but that date too was missed.
Following in footsteps of predictions, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah also stated that the load shedding would end by the first week of May 2014. It has worsened.
The deadlines for the ending the energy crisis have been missed partly because the deadline for getting in gas to power the plants has also been missed.
The West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPco) missed its deadline to supply gas to Ghana by April 30th this year and there is another expectation that Ghana will get its own gas by September 2014.
Speaking on the Super Morning Show, New Patriotic Party MP for Afigya Kwabre South, Wiliam Owuraku Aidoo explained, government is not providing the needed funds to buy light crude for VRA to power Aboadze thermal plants.
Government has already spent nearly half a billion dollars importing light crude for VRA, according to Emmanuel Buah.
Questioning the Energy's Minister's answers
The NPP MP said has also questioned government's promise bring in Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to support the country's energy production.
Owuraku Aidoo wondered which kind of fuel government would be providing Independent Power Producers - the expensive light crude or yet-to-arrive Ghana gas.
In an urgent plea, he called on government to "in the short term....get money for VRA to import light crude oil".
It is not known how much is needed to buy light crude oil but it is known, government needs $4bn to solve Ghana's energy problems for good.