Ghana’s Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) believes that government should no longer manage Ghana’s power sector.
According to Executive Director, Ben Boakye: “It comes down to the reality that we can’t continue to have government managing the power sector.” Boakye believes that the troubles being experienced in Ghana are partly due to government management.
By way of example, the latest Auditor-General’s Report revealed that more than ¢230 million was owed to the Ghana Grid Company Limited – much of that from state agencies.
Intermittent power cuts or ‘dumsor’ as they are known locally, are driving increased complaints from consumers.
The ACEP believes that the government is contributing to the problem that is crippling the sector’s finances, especially since “the owe the biggest”.
Speaking on the TV programme JoyNews‘ PM Express, Boakye said he feared that eventually “we [consumers] are going to be called upon to pay”.
“We need private capital injection… It [PDS] failed because politicians made it fail. It didn’t fail on its own. It was a structure that was set up to independently run and it was hijacked into the failure that we saw,” he said during the broadcast on Monday.
“If we don’t fix it now, we are going to be called upon to pay,” he continued. “If we had fixed it before PDS and all the saga, we wouldn’t be asked to pay 20p today on a litre of petrol.”
Already Boakye is saying that an increase in electricity tariffs in the short term is likely. He believes that the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) will undertake a major tariff review this year amid the unstable electricity distribution.
“It’s a guarantee that tariffs will go up significantly. If it doesn’t go up, then government needs to raise the money to support the power sector. It is a very worrying situation and that is why we need to improve the system.”
Boakye has warned that the sector is headed toward a crisis.
According to GridCo, there will likely be more power outages in order to enable field crews to work on substations and other plants. The company is in talks with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to curate a timetable to allow for the maintenance works from April to July 2021.
“If you track the trips across the country, we are heading towards a crisis situation. And I am happy that they are arranging to come out with a timetable that allows people to plan,” he said.
The Auditor-General’s Report has provided information on the money owed to GRIDCo, including Enclave Power Company Limited which owes GRIDCo a little over ¢3 million, Electricity Company of Ghana’s at over ¢1 million, Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), ¢63 million.
Bui Power Authority owes more than ¢4 million and Volta Aluminium Company Limited more then ¢15 million.