The recent power outages should be blamed on populist decisions taken by the Akufo-Addo government years ago, Dr Kwabena Donkor, a Power Minister under the Mahama administration has said.
He noted that the reduction in electricity tariffs among other things have crippled the power sector and starved it of needed funds.
He dismissed claims by the Energy Minister Matthew Opoku Prempeh that the outages are due to maintenance works by the Ghana Grid Company Ltd (GRIDCO).
He revealed that due to the cut in funds, GRIDCO had to suspend a number of projects including maintenance of critical projects.
“They are not routine maintenance… GRIDCo had to suspend projects. When you suspend projects including critical maintenance, the situation becomes compounded and creates a bigger mess than you would have if you have gone by planned capital expansion and planned critical maintenance… GRIDCo had to suspend a number of projects because of poor cash flow,” the Pru East legislator said.
“In this case, we have a situation where expansion that ought to have been completed two years or a year ago was not done because of cash flow inadequacy. We also have the situation where critical maintenance that ought to be done was left undone because of a populist decision to reduce tariffs and that starved the utilities of the needed cash flow.” Meanwhile the Minister of Energy has insisted the recent power outages cannot be classified as dumsor.
Matthew Opoku Prempeh urged Ghanaians to be calm and trust the government as it works to resolve the issues.
“As far as we can see, the projects is an ongoing project and so it is not about finances, it’s just like when you are renovating your house, sometimes it’s more complicated and expensive than even building a new house,” he said.
“This our lines that we have just been informed have been there from 1950, some from 1965. The power it was supposed to transmit, Accra has expanded tremendously so they are given us power or lines that can improve the power situation in Accra. What we are implementing is the best for them [Ghanaians],” he added.