Is this "Dum…sor" cycle a conspiracy or…?

Thu, 29 May 2014 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Folks, the persistent electricity crisis facing the country (now characterized by the unappealing buzz word "Dum…sor") reflects clearly the major problems that the various Ghanaian governments have failed to solve over the years because of lack of planning and good management skills.

In effect, the governments and senior management personnel have failed to provide measures for producing, conserving, distributing, and consuming electricity. The price Ghanaians have to pay is the nuisance of "Dum…sor"!

Electricity is on our lips today because the crisis facing that sector seems to be detracting from the goodwill that the public might have for the current Mahama-led administration when it comes to implementing people-centred policies. In truth, the crisis hasn't been so acute, long, and intractable as it is under this administration. No other government is known for this "Dum…sor" irritant!

The government and the agencies responsible for the electricity sector may be doing their best to solve the problem; but their best isn't good enough, as the situation continues to worsen and Ghanaians deepen their resentment as such.

Here is the latest that confirms fears that the authorities aren't doing enough:

"The Volta River Authority (VRA) has told Citi Business News Ghanaians may have to endure the current power crisis for a while longer."

(Source: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=310685)

Did I hear President Mahama say sometime late last year or early this year that everything had been done to end this "Dum…sor" crisis? Yet, the crisis is far from being solved. What at all is happening?

Whatever the causes of the crisis may be, Ghanaians aren't happy that their daily lives are disrupted this way for as long as this "Dums…or" cycle persists. They don't know why the problems aren't being solved and are all the more angry that their own government isn't levelling with them.

Clearly, there seems to be a conspiracy between the Volta River Authority, the Ghana Electricity Company, GRIDCO, and others in the electricity production and distribution sector. They are now blaming each other for the mess or for the absence of a schedule on load shedding. Criminal incompetence at its highest level.

Again, we can tell that the problem is not lack of resources (especially machinery/equipment or any other physical input) because none of the companies (VRA, etc.) has made any noise to that effect.

The talk of gas supply from Nigeria or Ghana's own reserves being a cause is only what it is---mere empty talk. The VRA doesn't need gas at its Akosombo, Kpong or Aboadze plants to serve its consumers. Neither does the Bui dam need gas to generate electricity for Ghanaians to be rid of this "Dum…sor" nonsense. Private companies generating electricity haven't complained about lack of gas either.

The occasional bursting into flames of overloaded transformers can be tackled if those at the ECG do a little hard thinking to install as many transformers as possible and distribute electricity to areas in a better manner than what has been the order of the day all these years. But nobody wants to be innovative.

So, what exactly is the cause of this "Dum…sor" menace? And why isn't anybody telling Ghanaians the truth of the matter?

As is usual of a society in transition, the authorities in charge of affairs aren't telling Ghanaians anything sensible to assuage doubts, suspicions, and fears. They are merely contemplating how to raise tariffs while playing hide-and-seek with consumers when it comes to delivering the item for which the high tariffs are being charged.

And the citizens can't seek redress because the institutions available to them are either part of the problem or constitute another whole set of problems themselves. Take the PURC, for instance, and you will see sense in my claim. Don't talk about the courts because they can't do anything to help the poor consumers get value for their money.

So, we run a whole circle of nothing but frustration, irritation, and anger. Then, the government takes the full toll. Yet, not much is coming from the government itself to prove to Ghanaians that it is up to the task of eliminating this "Dum…sor". Why is it so?

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.