Ranking Member on Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, John Jinapor, has asked government to provide evidence for payment of 17 billion dollars for excess power capacity as it claims.
This follows Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia’s assertion that the Akufo-Addo administration has made some payments for energy sector capacity building projects in the last five years.
During a public lecture at the NPP’s TESCON event on April 7, Dr. Bawumia outlined three major expenditure items that have contributed to the country’s budget deficit and rising public debt stock.
These, according to Dr. Bawumia, resulted from expenditure on the coronavirus pandemic, banking sector clean-up, and Energy Sector Capacity payments, for which the government has spent GHC17 billion in the last five years [2018-2021].
Speaking on Top Story, on Friday, in reaction, Mr. Jinapor claimed that “the issue of the 17 billion I have raised has never been dealt with.”
The discussion centered on whether or not the country currently lacks adequate power supply, which may bring about power rationing, otherwise known as ‘dumsor’
According to him, “the Vice President said that we’ve paid 17 billion in excess capacity. We have challenged them for over one month now to provide us with the evidence. You have an opportunity to issue a statement to reinforce the Vice President’s statement and you can’t even bring that evidence. Where is that evidence? he quizzed.
Mr. Jinapor urged the government to, “provide us with that evidence of the 17 million so that you and I can peruse that 17 billion… the issue that ‘dumsor’ is imminent can be found in their statement and that we must get new capacity is found in their own document.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Energy Minister, Andrews Egyapa Mercer has assured Ghanaians that there is excess capacity for power, hence there is no cause for imminent ‘dumsor’ as the Minority has alleged.
He said there are idle plants which could take care of any excess power demanded.
“In fact, as we speak we are not on our peak demand and so solar is running but some plants are idle and they are in excess for which the government of Ghana is paying for as a result of the contractual obligation that we have. So I don’t see where the crystal of the issues raised is coming from. It is soo clear that the committee has come out to debunk the fear mongering that they sought to put out,” he said.
He noted that the government will also provide evidence of payment of 17 billion cedis in excess power capacity if the need be.