Executive director of the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA), Mensah Thompson, has cast doubt over the Energy Minister’s capability to solve the many issues confronting the energy sector.
Speaking on Accra-based Asaase Radio on Tuesday, May 18, about the current power crisis Mr Thompson opined that the Energy Minister Mathew Opoku-Prempeh cannot solve the problems bedevilling the energy sector asserting he will rather ‘mess up’ the sector.
“No amount of encouragement can help the Energy Minister, he cannot solve the problem in the energy sector, no amount of encouragement can help him. He will rather “mess up” the sector,” he stated.
Speaking about the energy sector under the theme “Delivering Reliable and Affordable Power” at a press briefing organised by the Ministry of Information on Sunday, May 16, Dr Opoku-Prempeh averred the incumbent government has saved Ghana some $2.7 billion in unnecessary expenditure in the power sector alone since 2019.
The Minister’s assertion was with respect to the 46-plus Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) signed by the previous government with Independent Power Producers (IPPs), which the current government has managed to get some of them deferred.
According to the Minister, the savings made by deferring agreements with Early Power, Jacobsen Power Ltd and Rotan are significant, and set the tone for a more sustainable energy sector financial management framework.
“We have made savings on deferment of three PPAs amounting to $1.426 billion since 2019. Each deferred agreement was worth $475.5 million,” the Minister stated.
But reacting to the assertion made by the Energy Minister, Mr Thompson noted such comments by the Energy Minister would not help solve the current power crisis.
“When I hear of such arguments I get angry, why are you telling us that you have signed an agreement and purchased power we don’t use. We have excess capacity but we are sleeping in darkness,” he noted.
The ‘Take or Pay’ clauses in PPAs signed between government and IPPs is costing government $500 million every year and adding to costs in the energy sector.
According to energy think tank, Institute for Energy Policies and Research (INSTEPR), debts in the energy sector is projected to reach $12.5 billion by 2023.