We Want Cheap Power For All - Power Ministry

Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor, has said that his ministry is working assiduously to reduce the cost of power.

“When the cost exceeds a certain limit; it makes no use to the consumer, and so we must find efficient ways of using energy to bring the cost to the barest minimum,” Mr. Jinapor said at the annual meeting of the Association of Power Utilities (APUA) held in Accra last week.  

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) introduced a realignment of its billing system to serve as a relief for consumers who had complained severally about the high cost of tariffs even as power supply is erratic.

Earlier this month, John Jinapor disclosed to the B&FT that government has approved GH¢200 million to defray debts it owed the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). According to him the Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, is currently working on the necessary processes to immediately make the money available to the ECG.

“Most of ECG’s debt is owed to its suppliers in terms of power generators like VRA, Asogli and the rest. So as I speak to you, the Minister of Finance, himself, has signed the warrant for GH¢200 million to be released to pay some of ECG’s commitments.

So government has released that, [and] we are currently going through the paper work and processes and the Minister is committed to doing further payments in addition to the GH¢200 million,” he added.

After going through calculations of comparing the amount of energy used by Sub-Saharan Africa to that of New York in the United States of America, John Jinapor said: “I realized that the population of Sub-Saharan Africa is 800 million, the population of the State of New York is 20million and yet the energy consumed in the entire Sub-Saharan Africa minus South Arica is less than what the state of New York consumes.

What it means is that, if one individual in the state of New York consumes one unit of energy, 40 people in Sub-Saharan Africa will consume the same unit. We are determined to have as many people as possible coming unto the National Grid.”

John Jinapor entreated the private sector to come on board to share more ideas on how to curb the energy crises because government alone cannot solve it.

He added that technology and security are key elements for sustainable development in Africa. “We have been robbed with some deficits in our energy generation because of some security issues in Nigeria. We depend heavily on Nigeria for our fuel use and so when there’s a security challenge, it is felt through Benin, Togo [and] all the way to Ghana….no country is isolated from the threat of insecurity,” he said.

He advised that new technologies to be introduced should be well tested to make sure it fits into the system and the conditions under which we live. He believes that the outcomes from the deliberations of the conference will go a long way to address the various challenges of power supply on the continent.