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General News of Wednesday, 4 February 2015


Energy Minister faces public hearing after failed promises

Energy Minister will face Parliament in a public hearing to explain why the country is suffering from erratic power supply, a year after he promised to end the crisis.

Parliament's Committee on Government Assurances will host Emmanuel Kofi-Buah and present its report to the whole House for a decision to be taken on its report.

Parliament’s harshest sanction is a recommendation for the sacking of the minister. It is a power that has yet to be exercised under this Parliament.

The Energy Minister predicted that his interventions and projects would likely end the power crisis by the first quarter of 2015.

But with the year barely two months old, it may be too early to hold the Minister to his promise.

Mr Kofi-Buah has been banking his hopes on the supply of gas from Nigeria to cure Ghana's need for gas which powers thermal plants across the country. However, Nigeria's supply has been disappointing despite two trips to meet Nigerian authorities over gas supply.

The shortfall in the supply of the cheaper energy alternative is said to be the cause of the latest round of blackouts.

Ghana's hopes of using its own gas from Atuabo will only materialise in March.

With no reliable gas supply, no rains to power hydroelectric plants and no money to buy crude oil, Ghana is severely limited in its short-term options.

Government is now focused on bringing in power barges to produce 450 megawatts and cut a deficit of about 700 megawatts needed to effectively distribute power across the nation.

Decades of neglect in Ghana's power sector has turned into daily regrets as consumers suffer distress because of rampant power cuts.