General News of Wednesday, 19 March 2014
The power crisis that has left the country rationing electricity to homes, offices and companies is self inflicted, a Member of Parliament for the Pru East Constituency and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy has said.
Dr. Kwabena Donkor is convinced Ghana would not have been plunged into partial darkness, popularly called the "dumsor phenomenon," if stakeholders had planned ahead.
He told Joy News' Evans Mensah that, failure by the Finance Ministry to release funds for other contingency plans has led to the sorry state of power supply in the country.
The Electricity Company of Ghana is expected to announce a new schedule for power rationing beginning, Wednesday.
The ECG says the sad state of affairs has come about as a result of generation problems.
There has been limited supply of gas from Nigeria to power thermal plants at Aboadze to generate power.
There is also ongoing maintenance works which have led to a shut down of some power plants.
The combined effect of all that leaves Ghana unable to meet the energy needs of Ghanaians which currently stands around 2000 megawatts of power.
However, since demand now outstrips supply, the ECG has been called upon to ration power in order to prevent a complete shutdown of the system.
Electricity consumers are already mourning the discomfort the upcoming load shedding programme will have on them.
Dr. Kwabena Donkor in an interview with Joy News, maintained the signals were on the wall, and the country ought to have taken steps to avert the crisis.
He said Ghana cannot rely on Nigeria to solve its energy crisis.
"Ghana should begin thinking Ghana," he said; adding, "if we plan well and gas flows from the West African Gas Pipeline Project, then that is a bonus."
He said government should have put in place a contingency plan in making available light crude to power the plants if the relatively cheaper gas from Nigeria was not going to come.
While criticising the authorities for failing to plan and provide funds for power generation, he said the Electricity Company of Ghana must also be restructured to be able to collect money from consumers of electricity.