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General News of Monday, 17 May 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

‘Energy sector in a coma, minister speaking at press conferences won’t fix it’ – ACEP charges

Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Energy Minister Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Energy Minister

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) says Ghana’s energy sector is in a coma and it won’t take the Energy Minister speaking at press conferences to fix it.

Benjamin Boakye, the Executive Director, ACEP, told Joy News in a news report monitored by GhanaWeb that the challenges facing the energy sector has persisted for a long time but successive governments have failed to implement solutions from industry players in cleaning up the sector from its current mess.

“There is a bigger problem. Let the country know that we may have the power on, the electricity will be on but we are accumulating debts that are absorbing the budget. That is taking away our investment in agriculture, education and health because the government has propped it up.”

“The thing is in a coma and we are sustaining it. We need a practical solution that takes us from that realm to fixing it and ensuring that the power sector runs as a business. Anywhere in the world that the power sector runs, it is not press conferences, it is not the minister speaking. It is the sector working as a business and fixing it. That is where we are missing it.” Boakye indicated.

His assertion is contrary to Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh’s claim that the sector debt accumulation has declined but ACEP's Executive Director insisted that the debt rather is ballooning as generation, transmission and distribution increase.

Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Energy Minister in an update on the power situation in the country refuted claims that the erratic power supply is due to financial challenges.

He stated that such claims are borne out of wishful thinking by critics of President Akufo-Addo’s administration.

Benjamin Boakye, however, disagrees.

He noted, the reports from the various agencies under the Energy Ministry do not support the minister’s claim, adding that, the other sectors of the economy such as agriculture, education and health continue to suffer investment due to the woes of the energy sector.

“The speeches unfortunately have outpaced actions, planning and delivering on what we really need to deliver. The reports of the agencies are online. They speak to the reality of the situation. They speak to what ought to be done, the investment requirement.”

“So when you issue a statement or deliver a speech that is contrary to what is in the document, you can get away with the ordinary people but I cannot defend you on that. It is not my job. I can’t defend you on what is contrary to what is in the document and what the truth is from the engineers and the sector players,” Boakye stressed.

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