General News of Wed, 27 Jul 201639

We must resolve power crisis now – Terkper

Given that power supply is needed to ensure the growth of the economy, the government will need to immediately solve the power crisis that Ghanaians are saddled with at the moment, Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance and acting Minister of Power has said.

His call comes at a time there is disagreement between the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) and the Government of Ghana over payment of debts owed the company.

The minister of petroleum, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, announced that Ghana had paid some $30million out of the reported $140million it owed WAPCo, but the company rejected the payment claim.

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The Corporate Affairs Director of WAPCo, Harriet Wereko-Brobbey, told Citi FM Tuesday July 26 that: “On the issue of payments, WAPCo has not received any payment, but then I don’t know if the Petroleum Minister is referring to payments made to the supplier that is N-Gas. We are transporters and we get paid by the supplier whose gas we transport. So it may be that payment has been made to the supplier and we are yet to receive payment for the transportation, but we haven’t heard anything from even N-Gas on any payment.”

But speaking at a press conference on Tuesday on the mid-year supplementary budget presented to parliament on Monday and also on the inability of the state power distributor, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), to provide stable supply, Mr Terkper said: “The other problem is the ability of ECG to also collect levy bills from [consumers]. Tariffs that need adjustments, corrections still have to be made to the mistakes [of the ECG]. And these are all being resolved in a power sector blueprint. This weekend, we were in Ada to deliberate over the blueprint, which the Ministry of Power and Ministry of Finance are putting forward to get their buy-in.

“We are going to have meetings with the unions and with the staff associations to explain, so that we can tackle the nation’s problems. In the medium-term, power is very important and that is why we must resolve our situations now.”

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