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General News of Friday, 23 October 2015

Source: Today Newspaper

We need money to fix Dumsor - Nduom

Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, National Committee Chairman of PPP Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, National Committee Chairman of PPP

2012 standard-bearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has said the country needs huge sums of money to be able to fix its rolling energy problems once and for all.

According to the PPP man, it would take multiple billions of dollars to effectively solve the power crisis that has crippled businesses, affected jobs and the Ghanaian economy.

Dr. Nduom was sharing his thoughts on an array of national issues including energy on Business Television Africa (BTA), Wednesday, October 21, 2015 in Accra.

Ghana, in the last three years, has been hit by power crisis, following shortfalls in generation, compelling power producers to implement power rationing programme.

Government has said it would scale up production in order to end the crisis by the end of 2015.

But Dr. Nduom has insisted that the magnitude of the problem facing Ghana was such that it could not be solved overnight as being portrayed by government and its officials.

“You can’t solve this problem with $100 million or $500 million; this problem is going to take multiple billion dollars to solve. So you need to find sources of money to be able to solve the problem,” Dr. Nduom averred.

Dr. Nduom has consistently said it would take the country a minimum of four years to solve the current energy problem.

He, therefore, admonished government to recognise the crisis as a huge problem which cannot be solved in the short-term.

He also emphasised the need to make the power problem a matter of national priority.
“When you have a huge problem that must be your number one priority… but so far it has not been a priority,” he pointed out.

According to him, he expected President Dramani Mahama to be candid with Ghanaians concerning the magnitude of the crisis confronting the country’s energy and what it would take to effectively curtail it.

He prescribed that besides the huge money required, it was also important to bring Ghanaian experts together to help tackle the issue.

He further stressed the need to depoliticise the problem so that no side would claim credit for political purposes for solving any part of the problem.

The PPP flag-bearer again stressed the need to make the problem a national issue and then begin to solve the problem over a long-term of at least four years, adding that measures should be taken in the short-term to make life bearable for the citizenry.

“Because we must live whiles we are solving the problem, factories must work whiles we are solving the problem, homes must have electricity whiles we are solving the problem,” Dr. Nduom said.

This prescription, Dr. Nduom stated, would have been his approach to dealing with the crisis if he were the President of Ghana, noting that the approach may “sound simple but that is what is we need to do.”

He expressed concerns about the many promises and speeches coming from the executive arm of government about what was being done to solve the problem, when they (government) know very well that the measures were only temporary.

“To make a speech to say we are going to solve this in June….we are going to solve this by the end of the year. There are some barges coming, these are short-term things,” he stated and declared “we are just postponing the problem.”

Government has announced a number of interventions it says would help end the energy crisis, including the procurement of power barges from Turkey.
The barges are expected to inject a total of about 450 megawatts of power into the national grid.

Government has twice postponed the arrival of the barges with the latest arrival date being November 10, 2015.

Whiles the country was debating on the arrival or otherwise of the barges, it has been hit with yet another news of a possible shutdown of the thermal power plants which generate electricity to supplement Akosombo and other sources like Bui.

This was after the West African Gas Pipe Line Company (WAPCO) threatened to cut supplies to Ghana over its indebtedness.

According to Dr. Nduom, everything must be put at the doorstep of the president since he alone can take a decision on how to handle the crisis.

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