Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Power Crisis: "Ghana owes Nigeria Gas $100m"- Bawumia





Running mate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Mahamudu Bawumia has revealed that the reason behind Ghana’s current power crisis is Government’s failure to settle a $100 million debt owed the Nigerian Gas Company.

The situation is making it difficult for Nigeria to supply gas to the country as it is supposed to.

He made this known when he was delivering a speech at the Central University College’s Distinguished Speaker Series held in Accra to dissect Ghana’s economic chances as it seeks a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The untold story of the erratic gas supply from Nigeria is that Ghana owes Nigeria Gas $100 million. Nigeria Gas is therefore dragging its feet with regards to the supply of gas to Ghana while this amount is unpaid,” he said.

In November last year, the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) explained that the erratic power supply to consumers was as a result of the difficulty in getting gas from Nigeria.

According to the power transmitter, the company was forced to cut down on supply by 74 megawatts, compounding an already terrible load shedding.

Government has also over the past months attributed this as one of the factors contributing to the load shedding in the country.

Communications Consultant at the Energy Ministry, Edward Bawa told Joy News in an interview that although Nigeria was supposed to send 123 million cubic feet of gas to Ghana, it is only able to supply around 49 cubic feet of gas making it impossible for it to evenly distribute power to consumers.

He further pleaded with consumers to bear with Government as it found a solution to the crisis.

However Dr Bawumia said this was untrue.

The former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana also revealed that Government owes the Volta River Authority (VRA) and amount of Ȼ1 billion, compromising the Authority’s balance sheet and its ability to import crude oil for the generation of power.

This has caused the VRA to overuse the Akosombo Dam 30 percent more than recommended since 2012, thereby causing the drop in the water levels of the dam.

He also indicated that Government also owes the Electricity Company of Ghana Ȼ700 million, he said.

He therefore opined that the current power crisis was more of a financial problem than a technical one.

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Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Naa Sakwaba Akwa | faustine.akwa@myjoyonline.com