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General News Fri, 30 Mar 2007

Osafo Maafo advises govt on power crisis

…Says load shedding must be convenient to producers
FORMER MINISTER of Finance and aspirant of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential race has added his voice to solutions to energy management in the face of the crisis that has erupted in the country. The ‘economic wizard’ was of the view that the current management of the load shedding was not the best and emphasized that it should be a comprehensive one that must involve producers because they were the people who were facing the repercussions of the problem most.

“Like I was talking to one of the factories, he prefers to have continuous power for one whole week and off for one week than today on, tomorrow off,” he emphasized in an interview with The Chronicle.


Mr. Osafo Maafo, also known as Oseadeyo argued that for certain types of production, the government had to sit, negotiate and manage the situation to the advantage of producers’ characteristics.


“Anything that is molten, anything that solidifies, you cannot make it one day; you give them six days of production, and six days off, it is the same power saving system but one is more logical and more suitable to production than the other,” he emphasized.


He maintained that nobody could be comfortable in the era of consistent blackouts in the country irrespective of one’s political affiliation.


According to him, the absence of continuous power would definitely affect production negatively, which would also affect anything related to production, including employment.


Answering questions on whether Ghanaians should be made to pay realistic utility charges, he stated that at the moment the availability or the non-availability of power was not based on tariffs decision but based on the non-availability of the power itself.


“The Akosombo dam is down so there is no power, so whether it is price X or Y it is irrelevant; it has nothing to do with the availability of power,” the former finance minister elaborated.


He however pointed out that paying realistic prices for power consumption would be appropriate when power was available but in this case it differs because there was no power.


On tackling the present power crisis, he said the country must make the most logical decision, adding, the Akosombo dam could not be destroyed and so the turbines ought to be protected to prevent its destruction.


He indicated that the matter should have been dealt with a long time ago to have avoided the present worsening state of the plant, lamenting that this has been the sequence for recurrence of problems in the country.
Source: Chronicle
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