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Business News of Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Erratic power supply hampers industrialisation in rural areas

Businesses expanding or seeking to extend their operations into rural communities are skeptical of their prospects with the prevailing situation of unreliable power supply in such communities.

The Country and Sales Marketing Manager of Voltic Ghana, Raymond Mensah Gbetiv believes such issues must be addressed critically if government is to achieve major policy initiatives on industrialisation.

Mr. Gbetiv argues that businesses often avoid expanding to rural areas though they may be potentially viable to their operations, partly due to unreliable power supply in those areas.

The concern also comes at a time where the latest AGI Business Barometer report has shown that the high cost of electricity was the biggest challenge that confronted businesses for the first three months of this year, 2018.

Speaking to Citi Business News on the matter, Mr Raymond Mensah Gbetivi said the government must ensure reliable power supply in all parts of the country in order to help businesses grow.

“I think the need for a reliable power source cannot be underestimated and the point is that industry relies on energy and if you don’t have that, you cannot grow your industry and industry is where you get majority of your employment from so it’s really critical if you have to grow an economy”.

He explained that unreliable power supply in rural areas comes at a huge cost to the businesses causing their cost of operations to go up.

“The challenge is when you want to start up in the rural areas because power supply is a challenge, it’s either not stable or there is low current, and for the fact that there is no way you can run a machine when there are power fluctuations, your machine ends up damaging. You need to spend huge sums of money to have them fixed; so clearly power and unreliable power supply is a burden on the industry”.

Mr Gbetivi made these comments during a tour with some journalists at the company’s packaging line at Akwadum off the Nsawam-Kumasi Road.

The facility is estimated to have cost about 6.5 million dollars to complete.

Voltic (GH) Limited, established in 1995 is engaged in the packaging and distribution of Voltic natural mineral water and Cool Pac treated drinking water as well as the distribution of the Club minerals range of drinks and Beta Malt.

The project became part of the vision of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) when in 2016 Voltic joined the family of the largest bottler in Africa. CCBA, understanding the potential of Ghana, invested in the construction of this 6.5m dollars packaging line