Minister of Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, also called 'Napo', has apologized to residents in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, about the frequent power outages in some parts of the Region.
The residents complain bitterly about the highly erratic supply of electricity to them, which has been recurring in the past weeks.
The power situation is worse as it is extremely unlikely for the residents to see lights on for even a day.
This worrying experience had the Overlord of Ashanti, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II addressing the issue and calling for solutions when leadership of Ghana Gas, Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) visited him in his palace.
Responding to a question on what he is doing to rectify the electricity problem in Kumasi, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh in an interview on Peace FM's morning show ''Kokrokoo'', stated that the intermittent supply of electricity to some communities in the Region is not intentional but rather some technical issues which he is taking steps to address.
"Our visit to Otumfuo wasn't a joke but we went to him to render our apology to the people of Kumasi for the unfortunate thing happening to them," he said.
The power outages, accoridng to him, is as a result of Ghana Gas not supplying the electricity generator, VRA, with gas.
The Minister also explained that, part of the problem, is because a GLO Telecommunication network's mast collapsed on a GRIDCo transmitting line.
"I stood in front of Otumfuo and pledged I won't lie because it's my people who are suffering in Kumasi," he said, revealing the "problem with the GRIDCo tower and the inability of Ghana Gas to give them (VRA) gas" is the cause of the power outages.
He continued; "GRIDCo doesn't generate electricity; it transmits. When I got this report, two days later, a team from VRA came to my office and disclosed that Ghana Gas cannot supply them with gas and that, even at Takoradi, a plant there uses light crude oil because Ghana Gas can't give them gas. What I did (after the VRA complaint) was to forward it to Ghana Gas that they should give me a report so I can say something to Cabinet. Up till now, they haven't brought their report. I sent this to Ghana Gas on 24th November . . . Ghana Gas cannot tell them when what they are facing is going to be resolved."
"The problem is getting worse in Kumasi. So, I sent the leadership of Ghana Gas, VRA and ECG to Kumasi to engage the media and disclose the problem they're encountering. In fact, they held the press conference on Tuesday at 10 O'clock . . . During the press conference, this is what they laid before the journalists that we can't give you a power rationing programme because the power is erratic.''
"If the VRA can't get gas from Ghana Gas, how can they produce the electricity?'' he questioned.
He pleaded with the residents to bear with him as the electricity transmitter and supplier are working to resolve the situation.
" . . if you reside in Kumasi or Ashanti Region, the first thing I want to say is I'm on my knees apologizing to them . . . We are praying that the GRIDCo will repair the transmission line quickly for the people in Kumasi to be comfortable. But, in the last two or three weeks, it's a shameful experience in Kumasi," he pleaded.
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