General News of Tue, 23 May 201758

Dumsor is back!

Ghanaians would have to brace themselves to endure long and extended power outages in the coming days as a result of President Akufo Addo’s recalcitrance.

The President’s stubborn decision to disregard “sound advice” from the outgone Mahama administration on how to avoid a return of the debilitating power rationing; The aL-hAJJ can today report that, Dumsor, as it is referred to in the local parlance, is set to return in the coming days,.

This, sources close to both the Flagstaff House and the NDC-side of the transition team, say, is due to the President's decision to ignore all the well “thought-out and expert advice” offered him by the Mahama administration on how to sustain the almost-ended load shedding management witnessed in the country before and immediately after the 2016 elections.

The aL-hAJJ has gathered that President Akufo-Addo and his Energy Minister did not only fail to implement strategies adopted by the erstwhile Mahama administration that ensured the virtual-end of the biting power rationing that hit the country for close to three years, but also shrugged them off.

"The President's stubborn refusal to take on board well-intentioned and sound advice proffered by President John Mahama and his administration’s team of experts on how to sustain its strategies that almost brought an end to the debilitating dumsor ahead of the 2016 Election is worrying to us…and, from the look of things; the nation is likely to be plunged into another long spell of darkness any time soon”, sources familiar with meetings held both in Accra and Peduasi told this paper on strict condition of anonymity.

Key among the advice and cautions offered President Akufo Addo, a source revealed, was that “the NPP government maintains a 14 member inter-ministerial and sectorial-committee of experts put together as a specialized task force under the NDC administration to coordinate, monitor and police, minute-by-minute, every facet of activity in the country's complex energy regime to ensure reliability and sustainability.”

Membership of the special task force the source revealed comprised, Heads and Ministers of all organizations involved in the nation’s energy sub-sector, including GRIDCO, Electricity Company of Ghana, Volta River Authority, BUI Power Authority, Energy, Power and Finance ministries.

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Others include Energy Commission, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Tema Oil Refinery, Bulk Oil Storage Transmission, and Ghana Gas Company Limited among others.

But, the source said, on the orders of President Akufo-Addo, “this task force was immediately disbanded with many of the heads of the institutions involved sacked, save GRIDCO boss, Mr William Amuna, who is believed to living on borrowed time, the source disclosed to The aL-hAJJ.

The main focus of this task force, the source narrated, was to ensure up-to-speed information and proper coordination of activities of all institutions, whether state or private, involved in the production, transmission, distribution and financing of power in the country to ensure regular and continuous supply of electricity to Ghanaians consumers.

“Dumsor became a serious problem in this country…the Mahama government was very smart to have put together that task force to constantly share information and coordinate on how to fill-in power shortfalls. The strategy worked perfectly. That was why there were no power outages before and even after the election. Akufo-Addo was thoroughly briefed on this strategy but because he wants to do away with all the heads of these institutions who worked with Mahama, he sacked most members of the task force and now dumsor is rearing its ugly head again,” the source added.

The energy situation in Ghana currently, which saw much improvement before, during and after the December 2016 general elections, is deteriorating very fast, reminding bitterly-complaining consumers of previous hard times of dumsor.

The then debilitating power outages was a major campaign plank for the then opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, who accused President Mahama and his men of lacking competence to find lasting solutions to the problem.

Then Candidate Akufo-Addo, promised to make dumsor a thing of the past when elected and also reduce electricity tariff. However, electricity supply in the country has for some time now been erratic, unstable and still high in tariff. Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo has already hinted of the Akufo-Addo government’s inability to reduce electricity tariff as promised. He recently urged Ghanaians to be prepared to pay the right prices for the energy they consume if VRA and other power-producing and distribution companies are to function effectively.

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