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General News of Monday, 26 October 2015

Source: citifmonline

Gov’t has done nothing if dumsor isn't resolved - Casely Hayford

Financial Analyst and social commentator, Sydney Casely Hayford, says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration would be deemed to have achieved nothing if it fails to fix the country’s recurring power crisis.

Mr. Casely Hayford said this on Citi FM’s news analysis programme ‘The Big Issue’.

“My comment on the IMF bailout thing was that, the IMF did not know what was important to Ghanaians or to Ghana; because there is only one thing that you have to do in Ghana currently…You have to fix the power crisis; fix the dumsor issue and let it go away completely forever. If you don’t do that, frankly you haven’t achieved anything. In the four to six-seven years of running this country, if you can’t fix this power crisis you have not done anything,” he stated.

“You cannot have a situation in a modern economy or in a modern country which is what we are pretending to be; where electricity doesn’t come on 24/7 and where water doesn’t flow through your pipes. I am going through my second week of no water at a plush area of Mcarthy Hill in Accra. I have a situation where I don’t even know when my power is on and when my power is going off. It is disrupting my deliverables and disrupting my professional life, and it is very stressful. And it makes you feel like getting up and leaving because despite what we see we can’t seem to fix the problem” he lamented.

Mr. Casely Hayford says government’s inconsistency on the exact causes of the problem even worsens the situation.

“…And you say to us that it is not an issue of generation or finance; both of which the President has said. So if it is not generation or financial; then what is the real problem” he asked.

According to him, the huge losses being incurred by the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), which is as a result of government’s subsidies for consumers, is largely to blame for the problem at hand.

He says if government is not ready to bear the additional cost, then it must allow the utility companies to charge realistic tariffs as efforts are made to improve generation.

“Government must subsidize and subsidize correctly but because we are playing politics with this thing, we have fixed a low tariff for people we consider to be poor, so we have lowered the cost at which we supply power. Even if the PURC agrees to give the utility companies the increases that they require it will not solve their shortfalls” he noted.

He added that “the fundamental issue with the power sector as far as I am concerned, is an issue of generation. And when you fix the generation issue, now you have to back out of controlling the cost of power. The demand for power is 2,500 megawatts, but currently we are generating about 1,600….we are nowhere near meeting the demand gap”.

The country is currently going through one of its worst power crisis as government struggles in finding long-lasting solutions.