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Opinions of Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Columnist: Atta-Krufi, Hayford

Veep Goofed Badly on Buipe Power Substation Inauguration.

The NPP UK and Ireland has unveiled the Vice President John Dramani Mahama in his attempt to cover up the humiliation engulfing the ruling Mills-NDC government regarding the promises made to the people of Ghana and particularly to the people from the Northern Ghana with the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA). The Vice President John embarrassed himself when he tried to take a false glory from the inauguration of $ 8.5 million power substation at Buipe on Saturday, 10 December 2011 as reported by GNA, peacefmonline.com and ghanaweb.com.

Vice President John Dramani was reported to have said “the provision of electricity to (Buipe) rural communities would form a major component of the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA). He said this when he was inaugurating an 8.5 million-dollar-161/34.5 kV power substation to provide reliable bulk power to the Savannah Diamond Cement Company Limited at Buipe in the Northern Region.

The truth is that the $40 million Buipe Cement Factory was established in 2007/8 and the request for the power substation and tits construction commenced as the equipment for the project were already on their way to the location. All these took place far before the NDC’s conception of the SADA project in their 2008 manifesto to deceive Ghanaians.

As readers can recalled, on Thursday 6th Dec 2007, the Daily Guide new paper reported with the head line “$40m Buipe cement factory ready”. In that report it stated that “the $40 million project follows painstaking and expensive feasibility studies into the economic viability and availability of high grade limestone in the Buipe area”.

The Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) on their official website (www.gridcogh.com) has also stated categorically that the Buipe Substation Project has been paid for by the two cement factories, thus the Buipe Cement Company Ltd and Savanna Cement Company Ltd, and for that matter why should the Vice President John Mahama attribute the project as part of their failed SADA promise?

On the project background, GRIDCo has said “this project is at the request of two (2) cement manufacturing companies. These companies would pre-finance the cost of implementation and GRIDCo would reimburse part of this capital cost contribution on terms to be later agreed upon”. The Ghana Grid Company has also confirmed that the objective of the project was “intend to construct a 161/34.5kV to supply permanent bulk power to Buipe Cement Company Ltd and Savanna Cement Company Ltd. The project also envisages converting the existing power supply system at Buipe from the Shield wire Scheme to the conventional supply scheme to meet the anticipated growth in power demand at Buipe and its environs (including BOST and Volta Lake Transport Company (VLTC)), as a result of locating the cement plants in the area”.

Now, with all these happening far before the assumption of NDC government into power, why should the Vice President John Mahama dishonourably try to link the inauguration of Buipe Power Station to the NDC-SADA?

It is a known fact that the construction of Bui Dam to generate over 400 megawatts of power located at Brong Ahafo Region was one of the primary aims of NPP-Kufour’s government to ensure that a reliable power can be supplied to the Northern part of Ghana so as to entice private manufacturing and production companies to move up north. This idea was in line with the proposal made by Nana Akufo Addo to establish Northern Development Authority, backed by a Northern Development Fund, to help accelerate the economic transformation of the three northern regions.

Hayford Atta Krufi Chairman – NPP UK & Ireland Peter Antwi Boasiako NPP UK Communications and Research Team