Business News of Saturday, 7 April 2018

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Dumsor brought to an end; ‘keep the lights on’, our new focus – Boakye Agyarko

Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko has stated categorically that as part of the one-year achievement of the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia-led administration, the persistent power outages; dumsor the country witnessed some years back has been completely dealt with.

According to him “The power situation has been stabilized and dumsor as we experienced it has been brought to a happy end, electricity tariffs have been drastically reduced, which is unprecedented; the huge Energy Sector debts have been reduced with a mechanism in place to address the debt in its entirety.”

In December 2015, the then Power Ministry announced it had fixed an electricity supply deficit that caused years of frequent blackouts resulting in load shedding management across the country.

The crisis which began in 2012 became a talking point in political discussions as the then opposition New Patriotic Party blamed the situation on what it termed as the incompetence of the John Mahama administration.

Speaking at a stakeholder’s engagement on a draft national energy policy organised by the Energy Ministry in Accra, Mr Agyarko stated that in 2010, the Ministry of Energy outlined an Energy Policy and Strategy Framework document that served as the platform for policies and programme towards the development of the Energy Sector.

“The Policy took into account the medium-term development goals by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and other prevailing energy sector developments,” he said.

He added that since then, important changes have occurred in the domestic as well as the external energy scene to necessitate the review of the policy. We also adopted the mantra ‘’Keep the lights on, keep transportation moving, and make energy affordable.”

Boakye Agyarko noted “These developments have come with their peculiar challenges which require policy responses. The Ministry, as part of preparations towards the Ghana Energy Summit held in Accra from June 13-14 2017, put up an expert group to draft an Energy Policy to address issues relating to the future of Energy in Ghana.”

The draft National Energy Policy looks at the energy situation in its present form and where we want to go in the near future taking into account our medium-term development goals as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) all of which energy are the key driver.

The draft policy was presented to the key stakeholders to solicit for comments and inputs to refine the document for the final draft to be submitted to Cabinet.

After circulating the draft policy to some key stakeholders some few months ago some of them provided very useful comments from various bodies to enrich the documents