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General News of Thursday, 18 August 2016

Source: Daily Guide

‘Gov’t must be serious with energy crisis’ – Dr. Nduom

Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom

Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Groupe Nduom, has called on government to discontinue the piecemeal approach to fixing the country’s energy problems and apply a serious, concerted and non-partisan solution to help businesses that have been adversely affected.

“I have had the opportunity to talk to my friend President John Dramani Mahama that the energy problem that we have cannot be solved in 1 year, 2 years or 3 years. It will take government about 4 years to deal with the country’s energy crisis. We have not invested properly into generating plants which are efficient,” Dr Nduom disclosed at a business summit organised in Accra recently.

“If anybody does their due diligence today they will find out that most of the generating plants are old plants that have been put together and brought to us due to a so-called emergency. And so we have accepted them and are paying high prices for what they are able to produce.

According to him, in as much as there was a generation problem, there was also a transmission problem, because a lot of the transmission lines had not been replaced for many years.

“Then as you transmit well, somebody has to distribute, and distribution also requires equipment. And a lot of this equipment are also old and need to be replaced so we need money for that too.”

After distribution, we must have a management capacity and the technology to be able to collect from people the power that they use which also needs investment. So we are confronted with all such problems. We can’t just say that ‘Dumsor’ is over so there would be a solution tomorrow. Or as some people like to say, ‘Dumsor’ will be a thing of the past, we cannot just wish it away.”

He said the energy problem was a complex, difficult and multi-faceted one which has come about largely due to bad politics.

“Because the politics have made people make all manner of decisions that have kept us where we are. But if you don’t put the right people there, you keep getting the same answers.”

He stated that the power sector must be the number one priority of the President.

He said “we need people who understand how to deal with that money problem and to solve that. And if you are going to solve that money problem, somebody has to pay. Who is going to pay? Who is government? It is us. The money wouldn’t magically appear and will not come from the IMF or World Bank or somebody else. So then it comes in the form of taxes. We must find a way of paying for it and not overburden people and businesses with taxes.”