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General News of Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Source: Class FM

Amoabeng: 'Mahama means well for Ghana'

Outgoing CEO of UT Bank, Prince Kofi Amoabeng, has said President John Mahama means well for Ghana.

"Knowing the man himself, I think he means well, he wants to see all sorts of changes," Mr Amoabeng told Paa Kwesi Asare on Starr FM’s Business Edition on Tuesday when he asked his guest to assess Mr Mahama’s handling of the economy since he became President in 2012.

Mr Amoabeng, who described President Mahama as his “personal friend,” said: "…The thing about governance – and I think even President Obama said it – is that it’s different what you the President want to do and what the Constitution and the systems allow you to do and at what speed."

"He [Mahama] tries to do the best that he can," the retired military officer said with a caveat: "I think I’m a bit biased when it comes to President Mahama because he’s my personal friend, I talk to him… he was my friend long before he even became vice-president."

According to him, although President Mahama and other presidents may mean well for their countries, there is little room for them to manoeuvre as far as executing their programmes is concerned.

"Presidents mean well, but they are restricted, and it’s about the system, how far the system can move in their direction and so on and so forth,” he observed.

He nonetheless admitted that the economy is in the doldrums.

"…The economy is not doing very well, I mean if you look at the way the cedi is tumbling, the way there is ‘dumsor’ [erratic power supply] and things like that, and under the circumstances, there’s been some promises, but the promises didn’t come because they have hitches here, they have financial challenges, but hopefully by the middle of next year, 'dumsor' will be solved and people will see some normal life with the budget that has been read," Mr Amoabeng told Paa Kwesi Asare.

Presenting the 2016 budget to Parliament Friday, November 13, Finance Minister Seth Terkper said as part of measures to address the on-going power supply challenges, the government has undertaken certain projects, which are at various stages of completion.

He said: “Work on the 220MW Kpone Thermal Power Project is on course and is expected to be commissioned for operations before the end of the year, while installation works are progressing steadily on the 250MW Ameri and 225MW Karpower Projects and are expected to be commissioned before the end of the year.”

Mr Terkper also said: “Work on the 110MW TICO expansion is completed, and commencement of commercial operations are expected in 2016 and installation works on the 360MW Sunon-Asogli expansion project are on-going.”

“The first phase, with an installed capacity of 180MW, is to be commissioned by the end of the year while the second phase of another 180MW would be completed in 2016,” he added.

Also, the Minister noted that “the Volta River Authority’s (VRA) expansion of the existing Siemens plant (49.5MW) by the addition of 38MW is 90 percent complete.”

He said: “In 2015 a total of 272 solar systems were installed in public facilities including schools and community centres located in remote communities. A total of 375 solar systems were also rehabilitated in remote health facilities (CHP compounds) in 23 districts. Government in 2016 will continue its investment in the sector to further address the power challenges.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Power Dr Kwabena Donkor has promised to resign if the power crisis persists beyond December 31, 2015.

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