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General News of Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Source: B&FT

Electricity tariff to be adjusted despite 'dumsor' – Power minister

The Minister of Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor has said the electricity tariff will soon be adjusted, despite the erratic power supply (dumsor) that is crippling many businesses in the country.

The power sector is currently facing crisis and needs the support of the general public. “We are in a crisis as a sector and at the appropriate time when the issue of tariffs is being discussed, we will call on the public to appreciate the numbers,” said Dr. Donkor at the inauguration of the boards of three subsidiaries of the Volta River Authority (VRA).

He added:“Let us go beyond emotions and look at the objective reality. On our part as political leaders, we will push the entities to improve their efficiency levels. We will zero in, in the coming days on revenue collection and the use of revenue. In times of crisis every institution and every nation comes to together, and we are in a crisis as a sector… we call for public support and understanding.”

Dr. Donkor explained that owing to the current power crisis, the ministry has sanctioned the suspension of all non-critical capital projects.

“As a ministry we have directed all non-critical capital projects should be suspended so that we can marshal resources to ensure smooth operations. Once we get out of the crisis, we can continue with some of the needed capital expenditure in the form of brand new office buildings, etc,” he said.

Dr. Donkor said the projects have been suspended to ensure that there is liquidity to support payments for fuel and liquidity for things that enable the sector to generate power.

He said load-shedding, which has become an albatross around the nation’s neck, would soon be a thing of the past, stating “We believe that by the end of the year, load-shedding should rightly belong to the history books.

“We will fix this problem and I have indicated that come first January 2016 if there is still load-shedding I would sack myself before anybody sacks me because I would have failed,” he said.

He pledged the Ministry’s support for VRA in order to play its role as the leading generating company in Ghana, charging the new board members to help the Authority to improve its financial position.

VRA’s non-power subsidiaries include the Real Estate Department, VRA Schools and health facilities.

Lee Ocran, Board Chairman of VRA, said, “It has become necessary to separate these operations so that the VRA can focus on its core business of electricity generation.”

VRA has had to take into account the speed of change in its external environment and the need for structural flexibility to reconfigure, he indicated, adding that the restructuring of the non-power operations have both market objectives and organizational effectiveness.

Mr. Ocran said corporate plans have been developed for all the subsidiaries to enhance their organisational capabilities and market objectives.