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Opinions of Sunday, 8 November 2015

Columnist: Daily Guide Network

Ghana's energy enigma


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“The excuse that gas from Nigeria is the cause of power shortage is not acceptable. The last time I heard some say we are where we are because of shortage of gas from Nigeria, I got angry and said that is no excuse. Whoever uses Nigerian gas as an excuse does not deserve to be where he is. And I say with all certainty that gas from Nigeria is not reliable. Those who accept that as excuse are intellectually lazy. In planning therefore about energy this should be considered. At the least opportunity NDC and NPP are thrown in and this confuses everybody.”

That was Kwabena Donkor when he was not a minister.

The variables appear to have altered. Gas from Nigeria is now crucial and he is therefore factoring it in his plans, in spite of its seeming insignificance.

So when Dr. Kwabena Donkor tells us that accepting the shortage of Nigerian gas as reason we are where we are today as excuse suggests our intellectual laziness, we can question his integrity. Can’t we?

The energy enigma or conundrum is nowhere heading for the annals of our country. For some it has taken the present debilitating form because of the concentrated politics introduced into it anytime it triggers a debate. Power Minister Kwabena Donkor alluded to this earlier in a rather insulting discourse when he described those who accept the excuse about the role of Nigerian gas in our energy situation as being intellectually lazy.

Disentangling politics from the energy debate is not logical. Politics is part of the equation, and leaving it out is to forgo a critical factor which defines the subject in the appropriate context. Policymaking is the preserve of politicians at the helm and those who call the shorts assume the leadership position they do through politicking lies et al. Making largely unfeasible promises is the stock-in-trade of politicians in the heat of campaigns, the ruling party being a case in point. Making power outages a thing of the past when their party comes into power was particularly dangled in front of Ghanaians.

Now they are here at the throttles with interestingly Dr. Kwabena Donkor in-charge of a freshly minted ministry just so his fantastic ideas of making energy available without Nigerian gas can be actualized.

Playing back what he said when he was not minister is as appropriate as reminding him about his promise to abdicate when he fails to reverse the energy situation by year end.

When he was not a minister and as it were, on the peripheries and observing the energy landscape at the hands of others, vintage Kwabena Donkor was full of verbal venom. In those days nothing was verbally verboten.

Now out of frustration, journalists stand the risk of being referred by him to the president for their answers. Things have really gone round.

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