General News of Tue, 19 May 2015324
Dumsor Politics: 'I am not afraid to lose 2016' - Mahama
As many supporters and functionaries of the ruling National Democratic Congress are overly worried about the chances of the party in the 2016 elections in the midst of the myriad of challenges facing the government, including, but not limited to the prolonged power rationing, The aL-hAJJ can today report that President John Dramani Mahama remains unfazed, particularly, with threats these challenges pose to his second term bid.
The aL-hAJJ's recent checks has revealed that President Mahama is undaunted as he remains focused and committed to finding a long lasting and permanent solution to the age long power crisis, known in the local parlance as dumsor, as against his political future.
The President, The aL-hAJJ can report, has confided in close associates how he is unmoved by threats to vote him and his government out of office in the event the power crisis is not solved before 2016.
A source close to President Mahama recently told this paper "President Mahama is least moved by these incessant threats about we will vote your government out if dumsor spills over into 2016. What the president is currently worried about is how to find a permanent solution to the problem he inherited. That is more crucial for him than the political battle ahead…, the next presidential election.
"I can tell you on authority that President Mahama will be more than a happy man if he finds a permanent solution to dumsor and subsequently he is voted out of office. He is not scared of losing election 2016. His biggest concern now is to fulfill his covenant with the people…, solving the energy crisis," the source noted.
"President Mahama could have also chosen the path of past presidents.., to tackle the power challenges piecemeal, and that would have saved him all these threats of voting him out. His Excellency could have decided to adopt similar ad hoc measures in solving the problem just to make his chances in 2016 brighter but he said no, the best way to go is to take the bitter pill today even if it means sacrificing his second term bid to find an end to Ghana's unending and debilitating energy problem," the source added.
He said if by finding a permanent solution to the nation's power crisis is what will cause the President's defeat in 2016 election, so be it, "His Excellency is ready to bite that bullet, unfortunate as that may be though, but, President Mahama believes it would be the last reward Ghanaians will want to present him for the kind of legacy he will be leaving behind."
The source was quick to point out that measures the Mahama-led administration has rolled out so far to tackle the energy challenge coupled with the massive ongoing developmental projects across all sectors of the country's economy show that "by the end of this year there will be no talk and threats of voting us out of power.
The country’s power generation capacity has in the last two years been weakened by low level of water in the Akosombo and Bui Dams, inadequate gas supply from Nigeria to power the country’s thermal plants, and the extended maintenance of the various power plants.
In order to manage the country’s power deficit, the power authorities have resorted to load shedding to match demand while measures are being pursued to restore normal power supply in the country before the end of the year.
Among the short to medium and long term measures put in place to address the power crisis include the 200 MW from the Kpone Thermal Plant, 1,000 MW from General Electricity, 360 MW from Jacobsen, 360 MW from Cenit Power and 360 from the phase two the Sunon-Asogli project.
Ghana has exhausted all its hydro generation resources, and is currently exploring the use of coal and other renewable sources as a long term measure to increase power generation beyond the 5,000 MW targeted by 2016.
As part of the short term measures, government has signed an agreement with a Turkish firm, Karpowership, to deliver two emergency power barge by the last quarter of this year. The two barges are expected to supply the country with 450 megawatts of power.
Ahead of the two power barges, managers of Karpowership have offered the Electricity Company of Ghana, an interim 120 megawatts power ship to be delivered to Ghana in August.
Meanwhile, Ghana National Gas Company, operators of the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, which was shut down for planned statutory maintenance, has started full operations following completion of its first mandatory maintenance.