The Minister of Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor, says the frequent power outages and load-shedding exercise are a source of embarrassment to him.
“Sometimes I feel ashamed to even put on my generator when there is power outage in my area, since I was on Mines and Energy Committee, because people around my area might think I don’t care about the power crisis,” he lamented.
He has, therefore, urged the management of the Volta River Authority (VRA) and Takoradi International Company (TICO) to work to end the crisis within the shortest possible time.
He warned that if the country did not resolve the power crisis within the next six months, he would authorise all power generators at the various VRA bungalows, the chief executive officer’s residence, as well as his own residence, to be disconnected so they would experience the pain of having to sleep in darkness like ordinary Ghanaians do daily.
Dr Donkor gave the warning during his maiden visit to the Aboadze Thermal Power Station on the eve of Christmas to familiarise himself with the power situation and chart the way forward.
He said it was time the nation bench-marked itself against world class power producing countries and, therefore, charged the VRA, TICO and Independent Power Producers to produce affordable, sustainable and cost effective energy to meet domestic and industrial needs.
According to him, his mandate is to end the power crisis within the shortest possible time and warned that anyone who hinders his efforts will be booted out.
He observed that Ghana had gone through four major energy crisis in the past, including 1983, 1998, 2006-2007 as well as the current crisis and said there was the need to establish a robust power sector to end the crisis.
The minister said Ghana was supposed to be the hub of major power generation in the sub-region and, therefore, there was the need to lay a solid foundation for the future in order to achieve a sustainable power generation to feed the industries and create employment for the youth and accelerate development.
He said Ghanaian engineers had the requisite knowledge and competencies to resolve the country’s power crisis and charged them to get rid of any negative tendencies that might hinder their progress.
He also urged potential power producers and investors to aim at constructing power plants that could generate more than 300 megawatts of energy in view of the rising demand of power in the country.
The minister also reiterated government’s resolve to venture into coal energy generation since it was affordable and cost effective, adding that 41 per cent of the world’s power generation is coal based.
The government is aiming at producing 5,000 megawatts of power by 2016 in order to ensure reliable and efficient supply of power to all sectors of the economy, he said.
The General Manager of TICO, Nana Sarfo Adjie, and Mr Richard Oppong-Mensah, Acting Director of Thermal Generation of VRA, briefed the minister on measures put in place to resolve the energy crisis.