His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa on his first state of the nation address to Ghanaians said the most difficult problem that has bothered this nation in the past five years has been in the energy sector.
Addressing Members of Parliament at the Parliament House, he asserted that the energy sector has caused havoc in small, medium and large enterprises.
Again, it has disrupted families and businesses, and brought many organizations to their knees.
“Most obvious manifestation of the energy problem has earned us notoriety in the world, with the entry into Wikipedia and other dictionaries of the word DUMSOR”
According to him, it is a phenomenon that the power crisis has blighted our lives, destroyed appliances and collapsed many companies in the country under the NDC government.
The cost of energy destroys businesses large and small. It is the bane of the vulcanizer, the tailor, the dressmaker and the hairdresser, the carpenter and the wayside fitting mechanic.
“It has destroyed jobs and compounded poverty in the country”
‘The current state of the energy situation in our country is unsatisfactory’, he said.
He added that attempts by the previous government to resolve the power crisis has led to a gargantuan debt hover around the sector and they (NPP) have inherited a heavily indebted energy sector, with the net debt reaching 2.4 billion US dollars as at December 2016.
He again pointed out that 800 million US dollars of this debt is owed to local banks, which threatens their stability and that of the whole financial sector.
President Addo made it known to Ghanaians that there has been some improvement in the power supply since November last year, but the challenges facing Ghana’s power sector are far from over.
He noted that the key problem is cost, Ghana produces power from Akosombo at three US cents per kilowatt hour and the marginal price charged for businesses is an effective 42 cents, more than ten times the average tariff in West Africa.
“We will improve on transparency in tariff setting, and introduce a new tariff policy that will reclassify consumer categories in order to protect lifeline and strategic industrial consumers We will also reduce significantly some of the levies and taxes on the tariffs”
Accoinding to him end of 2016, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) had signed 43 Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), whilst a further 23 were under discussion.
Again Government is conducting a review of all the Power Agreements entered into by the previous government in order to prioritize, renegotiate, defer or cancel outright, if necessary, in the national interest.
President Nana Addo and his government have begun to develop a national electricity master-plan,which will also explore the benefits of VRA and GRIDCO on the Stock Exchange he noted.