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General News of Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Source: Prime News Ghana

GHC15bn debt crippling Ghana's energy sector – John Jinapor

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has alleged GH¢15 billion debt in the energy sector is crippling the activities of the sector. A former Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor, blamed the prevailing situation on the mismanagement of the sector by the current administration.

John Jinapor made these assertions at the NDC’s Policy Dialogue Series on the Energy Sector on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.

“There are two kinds of leaders today; a visionary one, a quiet one who thinks of Ghana’s tomorrow, and a very loud, robust one who makes a lot of noise but does very little for us. That is what we face as a country. And like I said, the investments we [the NDC] made, if the current administration had sustained that path and continued on those programs and projects, Ghana would have been moving forward than we are today,” he said.

“The Ghana Gas Company built at a cost of over US$1 billion despite all these savings, today is indebted to the tune of about US$1billion. If you add what ECG is adding to it and you do the analysis within three years in the energy sector alone, you’re talking of a debt of about GH¢15 billion and that is not part of the national debt. There’s been a deliberate, consistent approach to take all these figures off the national accounting system and so they present to you a certain figure as our national debt but when you look at the contingent liabilities, they are very serious.”

Cleanup the energy sector to avoid crisis; IMF to Gov't

The International Monetary Fund, IMF last year advised the government of Ghana to cut down the number of Independent Power Producers, IPPs in the country.

The IMF said the financial challenges facing the energy sector needs some strict steps that will help prevent crisis in the sector.

Country director for IMF, Albert Touna Mama speaking at a forum in Accra said just as the banking sector cleanup there must be a cut down in the number of IPPs.

"This has to be the next emergency after the banking sector has been addressed and I think that this is the way the authorities need to tackle that, the urgency is similar to what it was perhaps more than the banking sector, the Ministry of Energy and Cabinet I think just passed the energy sector recovery plan, but I just mention a few issues that are coming from the sector that are threatening to spend............ not only that the country is making loses in the sector from high-cost power, overcapacity for perhaps the Independent Power Producers are too many...."

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