Business News of Mon, 15 Apr 20195

Energy Sector debts to be paid within 5 years - Government

Power Supply   GRIDCo File photo

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Cabinet is expected to approve an Energy Sector Reform document that per its recommendations will force the country to within 5 years pay its Energy Sector debts.

Head of Delivery Unit at the Office of the Vice President and a member of the Energy Sector Reform Committee Prof Kwaku Appiah-Adu said the reform will among other things punish officials whose actions will lead to contracts in the sector that affects the country.

The reform committee believes the move will help reduce debts in the sector.

The energy sector debts which hit about 2.4 billion dollars is one of government's major challenges as it affects most part of the economy.

Although successive governments have defrayed some of the debts Head of Delivery Unit at the Office of the Vice President and a member on the Energy Sector Reform Committee Prof Kwaku Appiah-Adu said: "It's the rules and regulations that need to be followed and a technocrat or somebody has signed an agreement which really shouldn't have been signed, because you look at what we have in place already we have excess capacity there is no need for us to sign any new agreement, who advised what, were the figures at the time they signed, so all we are saying is that the rules and regulations that guide the signing of such agreements should be looked at vis-à-vis the agreement that has been signed and if anyone has flouted a rule then the laws of the nation have to apply that's all we are saying we keep it nice and simple then the details will be implemented of course by the law court and any other committees that are put is together to come up with specific recommendations as to what penalties that will be meted out."

The Institute of Energy Security, IES, has accused the Energy Ministry of peddling falsehood about some torched pipelines of the Volta River Authority, VRA within the Tema enclave.

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Executive Director of the Institute for Energy Security (IES), Paa Kwasi Anamuah Sakyi in an interview with Citi FM said the information by the Energy Ministry is misleading.

Some persons believed to be saboteurs according to the Energy Ministry attempted to burn pipelines belonging to the Volta River Authority (VRA) on Sunday, April 7, 2019.

The VRA has confirmed that the lines supply fuel to the generating centre of the Authority at the Tema industrial area. Reports say VRA’s own fire personnel first spotted flames billowing from the pipelines area Sunday afternoon.

Reacting to the impression created by the Energy Ministry that the perpetrators of the act may be saboteurs of the government, IES boss said the pipelines do not belong to VRA but rather Cirrus Oil Servies and carried natural water.

"If you are calling for public sympathy, you need to come on a good foot, we all know the challnege is largely due to illiquidity of the sector meaning that the utility providers owe themselves when you look at how much VRA owes Ghana Gas is quiet huge as well as what ECG owes GRIDCo, they only need to have cashflow for them to be able to operate and maintain their system, so if somebody comes and say that because someone hacked down a tower or power transmission line and it does impact on the supply of electricy for a long period, we think that is quiet misleading because the power lines has reduncy meaning that when one power goes down it will take some hours for them to switch over to the next line but then it can't stay for an extended period and that is the reason why we are having dumsor, again we get a line vandalised that being the pipeline and the Ministry says that it's a VRA line carrying gas, we look at it and we realised that the line belongs to Cyrus oil services it's not tied to the VRA network in any way, we find the statement misleading coming from the Minister and the head of communications at the Ministry."

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