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Business News of Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Source: B&FT

Gov’t asked to forgo emergency power plant

Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, an energy expert, has asked government to forgo its decision of bringing in emergency power plant as it is long overdue since the promise was made nine months ago.

“The bringing in of emergency power plants is not only long overdue, but also very expensive,” he said.

According to him, an emergency solution to the energy crisis should have taken the government at most 90 days and not nine months.

“Credible information available to me indicate that latest by the end of September this year, the energy crisis would have been solved by government.”

Dr. Wereko-Brobby said this when speaking at a lecture organised by the Inter Faculty Public Lecture Committee of Valley View University (VVU) on the topic: “Dumsor Never Again.”

He said, Ghanaians need to depolitise the energy crisis and look at plausible ways of coming out with workable solutions to avert the situation, affecting all spheres of life.

“It is sad that the citizenry could not discuss solutions to the energy crisis without linking it to politics. Ghanaians to develop a culture, which allows professionals to do their work devoid of political interferences,” he said.

He called for the use of technocrats in the handling of the energy sector as they have the requisite knowledge in the handling of such matters.

Dr. Wereko-Brobby cited the mismanagement of the energy sector as the main reason for the recurring energy crisis that plagued the nation since 1982 when the Akosombo Dam was shut down.

“We also have mismanagement challenges, which comes from how policies get changed by heart,” he said.

Dr. Wereko-Brobby stated that to adequately deal with the energy crisis, the country should first and foremost deal with the mismanagement in the sector.

“It is sad that when ‘dumsor’ ends, we forget that sustainable development must go to ensure that such incidence does not occur again,” he said.

He expressed why the Public Utility and Regulatory Commission would allow tariff increase by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) when the nation is facing energy crisis.

He urged government to ensure transparency in the planning of new additions to power generation and the payback of US$1.2 billion owed the ECG by government institutions.

He appealed to the government to endeavour to fix the energy crisis to attract investors.

He said no investor would want to invest in a country “with energy crisis as ours”.

“No investor will come and invest in the country unless he can be assured of constant energy supply for his work,” he stressed.

The energy expert called on Ghanaians to endeavour to conserve energy as it is one of the best means of conserving energy. Professor Daniel Buor, Vice Chancellor, VVU, extolled the importance of light to the socio-economic development of the economy and to the lives of individuals in a nation.

“We all know that according to the Bible, it was after the creation of light that God saw the need to create mankind or human beings. This goes to buttress the point on the importance of light to man”, he added.

He said the current energy crisis has affected academic work as the university is experiencing blackouts, inability to write exams in the evening, the use of projectors and the purchase of generators.