Monday, 12 February 2018

Electricity to be cheaper soon - Akufo-Addo

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Adnan Adams Mohammed


The President Nana Akuffo Addo administration has reiterated plans to attract private sector investments into the country’s power sector to improve operations.

The government maintains that allowing private participation should provide the needed capital and eventually reduce the cost of power.

Already, there are plans to sell off the thermal assets of the Volta River Authority (VRA) to limit it’s control and management of thermal plants.

Presenting the State of the Nation Address to Parliament, last week, President Akufo-Addo asked Ghanaians to exercise patience as his administration is working hard to ensure that the cost of power is reduced.

He explained that his administration inherited huge debt in the energy sector, stressing that the intolerable debt almost paralyzed the sector.

“A lot of hard work has gone into easing the intolerable debt situation that threatened to paralyze the energy industry, ” he said.

President Akufo-Addo noted that, despite the effort being made by his administration in the energy sector, “We still have problems with the cost of power, and we are working to put Ghana at a competitive advantage.”

“We intend to find private sector operators to buy into the state owned thermal plants, and inject the capital needed to bring power tariffs down for both domestic and commercial consumers,” he added.

“There is relief in some areas and I refer specifically to the spectacular improvement in our power supply program. A lot of hard work has gone into easing the debt situation that threatens to paralyze the energy industry. We still have problems with the cost of power and we are working to put Ghana at a competitive advantage. We intend to find private sector operatives to buy into the state-owned thermal plants and inject the capital needed to bring the power tariffs down for both domestic and commercial consumers” he said.

Meanwhile President Akufo Addo says he is optimistic renewable energy remains the ultimate option in solving the country’s power issues.

“The most reliable and ultimately cheapest answer to our power lies with renewable energy sources. We shall promote and enthusiastically encourage investment and use of renewable energy”.

The energy sector has faced major power setbacks which includes frequent electricity tariff hikes as well as frequent power outages.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, earlier proposed an average reduction of 13 percent in electricity tariffs for residential consumers of electricity.

Consumers in the non-residential category are also to see a 13 percent drop in tariffs.

But the Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU) urged government to be cautious in the proposed reduction in electricity tariffs.

PUWU also sought clarity on how power producing companies will cater for the cost implication of the reduction.

But President Akuffo Addo believes renewable energy remains key in transforming the energy sector.

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