– NDC MP tells Energy Minister
Hon. Adam Mutawakilu, the deputy ranking member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, has challenged the Akufo- Addo-led government to demonstrate its commitment to Ghanaians by fulfilling its promise to reduce drastically the high electricity tariffs in the country.
The NDC Member of Parliament for Damongo in the Northern Region is of the view that, the NPP government, since its inception, has taken the good people of Ghana for a ride by not honouring most of their promises, especially the one on the reduction of electricity tariff to it barest minimum.
“Since their campaign, they said when they take over power, electricity price will reduce drastically and that electricity was more expensive than rent. That was their campaign message. Now when they came to power, has electricity tariff reduced and therefore less expensive than rent? He quizzed.
The NDC MP’s comment comes following assurances made to Ghanaians by the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, at the just- ended NPP’s National Delegates Conference at Cape Coast over the weekend, to the effect that very soon, Ghanaians will be enjoying a reduction in the amounts they pay for electricity tariffs, and that the reduction is in fulfilment of a promise made by the Akufo-Addo government.
“Have patience with us, we have promised that electricity tariffs will reduce. Just as we said ‘dumsor’ will be over, I’m assuring you that, very soon when you see your electricity bills, you will know that when NPP promises it honours it,” he added.
Mr. Agyarko, at the rally, assured that “the days of ‘dumsor’ will not return.”
He said although there have been few hitches at the end of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), “before the end of this year, the lights will always be on.”
But Hon. Mutawakilu, who seemed not enthused with the Energy Minister’s assurance, revealed that, as part of efforts to deceive Ghanaians the government went and reduced street light levy and national electrification levy, which were too insignificant, instead of addressing the main issue by reducing the price of electricity.
According to him, after eight months in office, electricity tariff is still more expensive than the cost of rent in the country, and further accused Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko of selling one of the thermal plants at the Volta River Authority (VRA) to a private company whose main modus operandi is geared towards profit making.
The legislator noted with emphasis the huge investment made by the previous Mahama government in the power sector by increase in stored capacity from 285 to 4260 mega watts, which then resulted in the country having a stable power supply during 2015.
Talking about the Energy Sector Levy, the Deputy Ranking member of the Mines and Energy Committee described the then NDC government decision to introduce the energy sector levy as a bold one, with the aim of making the country energy sector a debt free one.
“We took a bold decision to introduce what we called the Energy Sector Levy to be able to make the Energy Industry a debt free and a stabilized sector also. We invested heavily in OCTP or Sankofa Gye Nyame well to ensure that by 2018 we have sufficient gas to be able to power. We brought in KARP, AMERI to be able to stabilize the energy sector, if we take off AMERI today, we’ll go into dumsor! So this was an effort and investment done by the previous Mahama government. They should tell us the strategic decision they have taken to stabilize the power situation in the country? They can’t!” He challenged.