Ministry Of Power Not Panacea To Ending Energy Crisis—Minority

The Minority has rejected assertions from government that the newly created Ministry of Power will be the panacea to ending the country’s energy crisis. The President over the weekend, created the Power Ministry out of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum.

The new ministry forms part of the restructuring of the power sector to ensure more stability and security in the provision of electricity, according to government.

To this end, President John Mahama has nominated Dr. Kwabena Donkor, a former Deputy Minister of Energy and Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, as Minister for the newly created Ministry.

When approved by Parliament, he is expected to mobilize all human and material resources available to resolve the current challenges facing the sector.

But the Member of Parliament for Bekwai believes this wouldn’t necessarily address the teething challenges facing the energy sector.

“I can’t see how just a ministry of power will make any difference. The ministry of power is going to superintend over the same agencies, VRA, GRIDCO and ECG. The challenge is with generation and with generation, it’s not a lack of generating plant it is money to buy the fuel to fuel the plants,” he said.

Explaining further to Live News’ Parliamentary Correspondent Ekow Annan, Joe Osei Owusu said the current power crisis is due to government’s refusal to purchase crude oil to power plants, adding this has made it impossible for the Volta River Authority (VRA) to generate power for distribution by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

“Unless the new ministry will be allocated huge sums of money, such that the challenge to fuel would be taken away, this is only cosmetic.”

The Africa Center for Energy Policy has advised the newly-appointed Minister of Power to eschew acts that would undermine the work of the new ministry.

Speaking in an interview with Accra based Joy FM, the Executive Director of ACEP, Mohammed Amin Adam described Dr Kwabena Donkor as overly partisan and urged him to adopt an all-inclusiveness approach towards addressing the power crisis in the country.

“Dr Kwabena Donkor is overly partisan and in times like this you need a bi – partisan approach to this national crisis. So I would advise him to work with his opposition colleagues to build consensus on what needs to be done in the power sector.”

He said the power sector issues must in no way be politicized.

“It is a national crisis; it is affecting everybody irrespective what party we belong”, he said.

Dr Amin’s observation notwithstanding, he said, Dr. Kwabena Donkor is the right man for the job.

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