State power distributor Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has hinted at tariff hikes to mobilise revenue for its operations.
ECG MD Kwame Agyeman-Budu said at a public forum on Thursday, 8 April 2021 that: “We need money to do it [improve]. If we get the increase we will love it [but] that will be up to the PURC because, no matter what we propose, they will ultimately decide.”
“In terms of distribution, we need support, because we have to do upgrades to make sure the system is sustainable. We don’t wait till something is broken before we fix it. We need additional funds to upgrade our systems at all times,” he added.
At the same forum, Energy Minister Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh said due to ongoing upgrade works on the Kasoa and Pokuase substations, there will be erratic power supply in May.
“Just two days ago, I received a letter from MiDA [Millennium Development Authority], who are helping upgrade the Pokuase and Kasoa substations.
“They informed me that the progress of the substation is such that in the month of May, there will be systematic power outages, so, we have invited both ECG and GRIDCo and in the light of that, let us sit and plan and communicate with the people who will be affected way before it happens”, he said.
He said his ministry’s current talks with the Ghana Grid Company Limited and the Electricity Company of Ghana, will help in strategising to minimise the impact of the outages on Ghanaians.
Also, he said “a revised energy policy is going through its final processes of consultation”.
“At the appropriate time of approval, it will be made available to everyone,” Dr Prempeh further noted.
The minister recently appealed to Ghanaians to have patience with the government as his ministry does all it can to solve the intermittent power outages currently afflicting the country.
Dr Prempeh went on a tour of some ongoing system upgrade projects of state power transmitter Ghana Grid Company Limited in the national capital, Accra on Tuesday, 6 April 2021.
Speaking to journalists during the tour, he said the intermittent power cuts are a result of system challenges and, thus, cannot be likened to the four-year power outages experienced under former President John Mahama from 2012 to 2016 due to production and financial problems, which necessitated a load-shedding timetable for the whole country.
“I think the issue of financial challenges doesn’t even come in here because they are doing the project, we can all see it, so, where does finance come in? The people don’t have money to buy lunch, or?” he wondered.
“I don’t know but as far as we can see, the project is an ongoing project, so, it’s not about finances, it’s just that if you’re renovating your house, sometimes, it’s more complicated and it’s more expensive than even building a new house”, he explained.
According to him, “these our lines that we’ve just been informed were strung, some in 1950, some from 1965, the power they were supposed to transmit, Accra has expanded tremendously, so, they are giving us lines that can improve the power situation in Accra”.