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General News of Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Source: citifmonline.com

Franklin Cudjoe should speak with facts – Nzema Youth

A group calling itself Nzema Youth Association (NYA) has asked the President of Imani Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe to be objective and desist from personal attacks in his analysis.

According to the group, “Mr Cudjoe in his desperate attempt to please his paymasters; reduced the office of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to a Project Management role as he used postponement of completion date of the Atuabo Gas Infrastructure Project to support his weak argument.’’

Responding to comments made by Mr Cudjoe suggesting that the Minister of Energy, Mr. Kofi Buah resigns for his failure to perform and meet timelines with regards to the current power crisis, the group said the campaign embarked upon by the Imani president will arrive at nothing.

“We will like to use this opportunity to assure Mr Franklin Cudjoe that if that is what he is being paid to do then he has a great task ahead,’’ the statement signed by the spokesperson for the group, Kwame Essuman Aidoo noted.

Below is the full statement by the Nzema Youth Association

IMANI’s Baseless Smear Tactics Must Stop

We have monitored with utmost shock recent comments by Mr Franklin Cudjoe of IMANI- Ghana which seeks to cast slur on the integrity and credibility of Hon Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, MP for Elembelle and Minister of Energy and Petroleum over recent crisis in the energy sector.

We would have wished that Mr Franklin Cudjoe, speaking as a representative of a Think Tank in the country, will be very objective in analyzing the issue at hand and not seek to unnecessarily engage in personal attacks.

It is clear from the publications, especially the one in the Monday 24th March edition of the Chronicle newspaper that Mr Cudjoe in his desperate attempt to please his paymasters; reduced the office of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to a Project Management role as he used postponement of completion date of the Atuabo Gas Infrastructure Project to support his weak argument.

Mr Cudjoe could have done justice to himself and the people of Ghana by properly checking the status of the Gas Infrastructure Project in Atuabo to acquaint himself with progress on site and not dabble in speculation which impugns on the hard earned reputation of the Energy Minister.

If Franklin Cudjoe and his IMANI- Ghana care to know, the current problem in the energy sector is not because the current Energy Minister doesn’t hold Professorate Degree in Project Management; it is as a result of tough decisions being taken now by government in order for the country to reap in the long term. The Atuabo Gas Infrastructure Project for instance was initiated because our leaders in the Energy Sector envisaged the need for Ghana to get its own sustainable gas supply because supplies to our thermal plants from the West Africa Gas Pipeline could be unreliable as we are experiencing now.

IMANI and Franklin Cudjoe should have also been abreast with the fact that in a country where demand and supply of power is in balance, a breakdown or shut down of a single generating unit is very likely to create some of the problems we are currently facing.

Through the able leadership of the current Minister of Energy and Petroleum, the country’s power plants which hitherto operated solely on gas are being converted into combined cycle units to run on either light crude oil or gas and crude oil in order that they function efficiently and effectively at any point; whether there is shortage of gas or otherwise.

Ghana is governed by a constitution which all Ghanaians ascribe to; it clearly defines who qualifies to be a Minister of State and what have you. So we consider Franklin Cudjoe’s reference to Hon Buah’s past occupation as an attempt to trivialize such an important national issue as power crisis.

If Franklin Cudjoe and his surrogates care know, Hon Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah is a Member of Parliament in his second term in the August House, a former Deputy Minister of Energy (in charge of Petroleum) even before Ghana started producing oil in commercial quantities, before his current appointment as the substantive Minister at the same Ministry by the President. He indeed participated in the execution of most of the current projects during inception so he is fully abreast with the current situation.

Reading from the publication in the Chronicle newspaper, we have come to the realization that Franklin Cudjoe doesn’t even understand what pertains in the construction of a huge project such as gas infrastructure project as he is quoted by the paper as saying, “Look at the Atuabo Gas pipeline, anytime this minister has the opportunity to speak about it, he is miscommunicating the time lines and strategy”; failing to acknowledge that completing a gas infrastructure project is not akin completing storerooms or living rooms.

A mechanical imbued project such as the one currently ongoing in Atuabo will require many forms of completion and testing before gas is allowed to finally flow into pipes, so Franklin Cudjoes lame analysis of the project clearly shows an intent to attack the personality of the Hon Minister to please his surrogates and paymasters.

We will like to use this opportunity to assure Mr Franklin Cudjoe that if that is what he is being paid to do then he has a great task ahead.

Much as we welcome constructive criticisms, we will equally not sit down for empty barrels like Franklin Cudjoe and IMANI to destroy the hard earned reputation and image of the Member of Parliament and a Minister if State.

While sympathizing with Ghanaians on the current challenges in the sector, we know they will not buy into such flimsy analysis of the current power crisis which only seek to attack the personality of the Minister and not address the situation at hand because the credibility of IMANI Ghana has waned drastically in recent times, having been identified by many Ghanaians as an institution which only criticize without proposing alternative because it has no capacity to do so.

Thank you…

Long live Nzemaland

Long live Ghana

Signed:

Kwame Essuman Aidoo

(Spokesperson, Nzema Youth Association)

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