Opinions Sat, 31 May 2014

Is Ghana’s energy crisis a president heritage?

The incidence of energy crises has bedevilled the country for some decades now and it is leaving many Ghanaians wondering if there is any hope for the future.

This sense of wonder stems from the fact that the crisis continues to rear its head during every new administration that takes over the reins of government in the country.

During the era of the first president under the fourth Republican Constitution, President Rawlings, Ghana experienced an energy crisis leading to the rationing of electricity to Ghanaians. The crisis hit hard on many industries and businesses culminating in heavy losses and unemployment.

When the nation heaved a sigh of relief with the apparent end to the crisis, they woke up to yet another problem under the Kufuor administration with similar consequences. Assurances came from leadership to the effect that the crisis was going to be a problem of the past and that seemed to have been the case when power supply improved.

Then came the Mils administration that also witnessed a similar crisis with intermittent power curtailment that left Ghanaians wondering if the electricity problem was ever going to end some day.

As if to say it would never end in our lifetimes, the problem has come up again under the John Mahama administration, making it a hereditary problem or better still a Presidential Heritage that is passed on from our administration to the other.

Is the new turn of events an accentuation of the belief that our leaders are clueless about the possible solution to this problem? Are Ghanaians condemned to a perpetual energy crisis that would last forever? Would there ever be a leader who would bring the perennial energy crisis to an end to save this and future generations from unpredictable power supply?

Time will tell but it goes without saying that leadership, past and present, under the fourth Republican Constitution, has not dealt well with Ghanaians with regard to energy supply.

God has blessed the nation with all the resources needed to tackle this crisis. We have water resources to cater for hydro and lately oil and gas for thermal energy, so what prevents us from putting these resources into the constant supply of electricity to the people?

The population is growing at a fast rate; if we cannot cater for the current generation, what does the future hold for the next generations?

It is a pity that political parties, instead of finding solutions to this problem, resort to using it against each other only to fall into the same pit their predecessors fell into.

Ghana is at a crucial point to deal with this Presidential Heritage that leaves a deep dent on the image of our leaders and a scar on their conscience. The next generation must not experience the problem the current one is facing; else it would appear leadership is all about fire-fighting but not a visionary direction of what the country should be in the future.
Columnist: The Catalyst Newspaper