General News of Sunday, 30 April 2017
US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, says the US government is prepared to help Ghana meet its power needs in the near future. Speaking at an event to cut sod for the construction of a 400 megawatts power in Tema, Mr. Jackson said the government of President Donald Trump will champion these initiatives.
“Access to electricity is fundamental to improving the quality of life and fostering economic growth. I know the power Africa initiative, the partnership for growth and the Millenuim Challenge Account is committed to supporting the transformation of Ghana’s power sector,” he said.
He said the US government as part of efforts to achieve this aim has made a number of financial commitments to the Energy sector.
Enumerating the various projects undertaken by the US government, Mr. Jackson said: “Our USAID mission provides technical assistance for the Ghanaian government as it works to strengthen the energy sectors, institutional and policy framework. US OPEC recently invested 400 million dollars in an independent power plant. The export, import bank of the United States, funded the 350 million dollars.”
Gov’t debt hit 2.3 billion dollars in 2016
Government’s indebtedness to the energy sector has been cited as one major threats to the growth of the sector.
Documents cited by Citi Business News as at 31st December, 2016, stated that government’s net debt in the Energy sector was 2.3 billion dollars.
A breakdown indicated that, net debt to banks and fuel suppliers amounted to 1.3 billion dollars. A further breakdown also showed that, the banks are owed 782 million dollars, while fuel suppliers are owed 440 million dollars.
State owned power producer, the Volta River Authority (VRA) owed the banks to the tune of 782 million dollars. VRA also contributed 278 million dollars to the 440 million dollars owed fuel suppliers, while TOR contributed 162 million dollars.