Five parliamentarians of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have called on the government to, as a matter of necessity, expedite action on the rural electrification project and connect their communities with electricity under the Self-Help Electrification Programme (SHEP) in their respective constituencies.
According to them, the delay in the completion of the project to hook the communities onto the national grid is not only affecting their economic activities but also denying them enjoying electricity.
The five members of parliament, who filed separate questions to the Minister of Energy, are Ebenezer Terlabi, Lower Manya Krono; Mutawakilu Adam, Damongo; Laadi Ayii Ayamba, Pusiga; Suhuyini Alhassan Sayibu, Tamale North, and Abdul Aziz Muniru, Akan.
“Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Minister for Energy when Tengashep will continue and complete the rural electrification project, which was started in the following villages, Bulgu, Kolpelugu, Dabla, Sugudi, Latenga, Ninkogo, Zuabulga, abulnatenga, Kampod, Tambiigu, Pialoko, avodkuom Zonngnatenga and Tendanatenga,?” Ms Laadi Ayamba asked.
In response, the minister said that Latenga, Ninkogo and Pialoko communities were captured under the electrification of selected communities in the Upper East Region, executed by Thengashep(pty) Ghana Limited.
According to Mr. Agyarko, due to a shortage of materials the work could not be completed in such communities, but hinted that the ministry is in the process of securing funds to complete works in the communities.
He added that the other communities which formed parts of the ongoing SHEP are currently being implemented by the ministry and that the projects are at different stages of completion.
Mr. Agyarko further noted that, “High voltage (HV) poles have been planted and strung at Balungu, Dabia, Sugudi, Tambiigu and Zuabulga with transformers mounted. Low Voltage (LV) poles have also been planted and dressed in the communities.”
In the Kampodi community, he said, HV and LV poles have been delivered, but yet to be erected, explaining that the delay associated with the completion of the work is due to a shortage of some electrical materials and that the ministry is procuring some soon to allow for the completion.
“Mr. Speaker, the project in the above communities has been scheduled for completion by end of the first quarters of 2018. The remaining communities do not form part of any of the ongoing electrification projects being undertaken by the ministry. The communities have been noted and would be considered for future electrification projects,” Agyarko explained
But Hon. Laadi Ayamba told The Republic that she was unenthused by the minister’s answers on the grounds that, the delay in completing the project is affecting the economic livelihood of the people.
She also dismissed the minister’s response that some of the communities mentioned in his question were not part of the beneficiary communities, noting that the answers were inaccurate and contrary to facts on the ground.
Tamale North MP
Hon. Alhassan Suhuyini wanted to know from the minister what is currently withholding the completion of Rural Electrification Projects under SHEP -5 in the following communities – Nyanshegu, Wovo-Guma, Kalpohin, Kanvilli and Kpawomo.
But in his response, the minister said Nyanshegu, Wovo Guma, Kalpohin and Kanvilli Kpawomo communities in the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly formed part of the SHEP projects being executed by the ministry.
He added that, “all HV and LV poles for the project have been sent to the various communities. The High Voltage network construction has been completed at Nyanshegu and WovoGuma, Transformer installation has also been completed at Nyanshegu. HV and LV Poles have been planted at Kanvili Kpalpohin rural communities.”
According to the Energy Minister, what is withholding the completion of the work is the shortage of certain materials at the stores in Tamale, assuring that arrangements have been made to replenish the stock of the material to enable works to be completed by end of this December.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Energy when the ministry will connect the following communities to the national grid, Wawaboi, Asato-Menuso, Besease, Butabe, Dika, Bratoso/Bratoano, Todome, Pillar 83, Bolo-Nkwanta, Asuboe, Tinteanyo, Dompa, Okrakrom and Olobombi?”Hon. Abdul Aziz Muniru asked.
Responding, the minister said the communities do not form part of the ongoing projects being executed by the Ministry of Energy, but the communities have been noted and would be considered in subsequent electrification projects.
When the MP pushed further for assurance, Mr. Agyarko said the ministry is working to ensure that communities get hooked onto the national grid, and assured that the communities mentioned by the MP would be included in the considered list by the ministry.
Lower Manya Krobo MP
Hon. Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi asked the Minister for Energy when the connection of Oborpa, Jekti, Odorkom, Tlepom, Nanase, Obelemanya, Popotia Ayemersu , Yonguase and Gortsonya communities in the Lower Manya Municipality would be completed.
In response, the Energy Minister said Oborpa West, Oborpa East, Jeketi and Yonguase communities formed part of the ministry’s SHEP -4 Project in the Eastern Region, adding that 238no HV and 175no LV poles have been supplied to the project sites.
According to the minister, pole planting is currently ongoing and that upon completion of that, pole-top accessories will be released to the contractor for installation, noting, “the project in these communities have been scheduled for completion by end of the first quarter, 2018.”
On the remaining communities per the MP question, Mr. Agyarko said the communities do not form part of any of the ministry’s ongoing electrification projects, but they have been captured for inclusion in future electrification projects, and assured the MP the ministry will continue to work till most communities are hooked onto the national grid.
Hon. Mutawakilu Adam, on his part, wanted to know from the Minister for Energy what is causing the delay in the completion of the electrification of Bidima, Langatre, Soalepe, Kananto and Kabampe communities under the SHEP-5 project.
In response, the minister told parliament that, the communities formed part of the ongoing SHEP-5 project being implemented by the Ministry of Energy and that 172no HV and 400no LV poles have been supplied and planted in the communities.
However, he said, some of the materials required for the construction of HV and LV networks have also been sent to the project sites, as there are more outstanding materials to be sent to the sites.
Mr. Agyarko therefore assured that the ministry is in the process of procuring such materials to allow for completion of work, stressing that the projects have been scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2018.
Nonetheless, the NDC MPs demanded that the projects be completed in time to reduce the economic hardship of their constituents, as power supply to such communities would help improve their living standard and contribute to the development of the country.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba