Abena Antwi writes: Ghanaians, Please trust the process

electricity power

Nation building is a process. As citizens, the more we take time to understand the process, the more we are assured that Ghana is on course!

My own journey of understanding the process deepened when the lights-out started this year! People call it Dumsor, but I beg to defer! An Aljazeera article in 2016 aptly defined Dumsor as a period in which darkness was more prevalent than light; 159 days of blackouts in a year. We saw many neighborhoods go without light and businesses collapsed like a ton of bricks. I am told that Dumsor cost Ghana US$680 million in 2014 accounting for 2% of GDP.

Back to my story! In my quest to understand what was causing the recent lights out, I found out that the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCO) was carrying out massive work at Pokuase and Kasoa. Two major Bulk Supplier Points were under construction at a cost of more than USD80 million. Ghana accessed the funds from the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a relationship which was conceived by the forward looking NPP government in 2006. From the fruit of our relationship with MCC, Ghana has currently accessed USD308 million under the Ghana Power Compact to help improve the power sector. Despite the challenges in the sector, our energy experts have executed this mandate and the compact is gradually coming to an end.

Financing power is a big headache for governments. It is no wonder that a developed economy like UK privatized its electricity supply industry as far back as 1989. If Ghana was able to set a process in motion as far back as 2006 that is currently working and benefitting the energy sector by way of attracting huge capital investments, we should trust that the process is working!

The Pokuase Bulk Supplier Point is a 580MW project which is more than 90% complete and will improve power supply to the Western part of Accra. It will serve as the biggest transformer capacity in the whole country, relieving the Mallam sub-station. I am happy to mention that the Northern Part of Ghana is not left out. The Pwalugu USD993 million multi-purpose dam is under construction and will serve as a solar-hydro power plant with a hydro capacity of 60 MW and solar capacity of 50 MWp.

We all agree that the challenges in the power sector are many, but government’s interventions are equally many and are targeted to match the challenges boot for boot! Just to mention a few, the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government is fixing the Take or Pay contracts where government has been paying for 60% of unused power capacity at a cost of half a billion dollars yearly. Yes! USD500 million yearly gone waste! Government has among others, fixed these by renegotiating the Ameri Power Purchase agreement to reduce cost by 13%. The Cenit power deal has been renegotiated to a “take or pay” which has reduced cost by 31%. The process is working!

Government is working at diversifying the energy mix. For example, it has developed a distributed solar energy solution for all government and public buildings. This can be upscaled to other private sector buildings. I do not wish to bore you with the many government interventions in the energy sector but indulge me to mention one final one which many of us do not regard but which has serious health advantages. The NPP government has revised the Sulphur content of our fuel from 3,000 ppm to 50 ppm to meet European standards. This is being implemented by the National Petroleum Authority. I am excited about this development.
We need to trust the process!

Developing a nation is not a quick fix. To all those calling for “Fix the Economy Now”, please take your time before you attract politicians who will lead us all into a ditch! We have been there before!

Please Trust the Process! Trust the Nana Addo Government!

Source: Daily Mail GH

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