The Deputy Minister Designate for Energy, Mr William Owuraku Aidoo, has stated emphatically that the failed Power Distribution (PDS) deal has nothing to do with the recent power outages in the country.
According to Mr Aidoo, the outages are as a result of the enhancement and renewal of some old lines by the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) and definitely some lights will go off.
The Minister Designate was responding to questions on the PDS deal, when he appeared before the Joe Osei-Owusu Appointments Committee of Parliament yesterday.
The Ranking Member of the Committee, Mr Haruna Iddrisu had asked the nominee that: “We were told that the current light off being experienced in the country is related to some dysfunctioning of the transmission regime and it is attributable to the failure of PDS, because the US Government through MIDA had to withdraw the dedicated $190m meant to expand the transmission network.”
Mr Aidoo, in response, indicated that: “Mr Chairman that is not the fact as I know them. The monies that the American government threatened to withhold had to do with bulk supply points at Kasoa and Pokuase and those projects are still ongoing. So the American government was not happy with the truncation of the whole PDS saga but it did not affect the Pokuase and Kasoa bulk supply point.
“To make a point, the PDS deal has nothing to do with the transmission challenges that we are having right now.”
He continued that “the Minister (Matthew Opoku Prempeh) had told the good people of this country exactly what is happening. What we are experiencing now is not the classic dumsor as we know it. It’s not a generation problem. It’s basically the enhancement of lines which are very old and GRICO has embarked on the project to try and renew some of these lines and so necessarily lights have to off.”
This response also comes to answer the assertion made by the Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability which blames the infamous Power Distribution Service as the cause of the country’s current ‘dumsor’ crisis.
ASEPA’s Executive Director, Mr Mensah Thompson, had indicated sometime in April, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) had inherited debts from PDS, hence the recent outages.
“Most debts at the ECG were incurred by PDS. For the five months period that PDS collected bills from consumers in the country, they never accounted for what they took. All the money they collected, till date, we don’t know where the money went”, he said.
He said that PDS, after taking over the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), did not pay the company’s debt that it owed neither did they pay the power generators, like GRICo and Volta River Authority (VRA).
ASEPA again hinted that PDS also left huge debt, which is preventing ECG from being able to pay its debt for power generation, hence the current energy crises the country is going through.
“When PDS took over from ECG and collected the bills from the consumers, they forget to pay their power generators”, Mr. Mensah Thompson said in his interview.
The Deputy Minister, however, alluded to the money claims being made, but indicated that he was not sure of the exact amount of money involved. He further indicated that the ECG and PDS have indicated their willingness to sit and decide what to do.
The Deputy Minister-Designate assured Ghanaians that work on the transmission lines will be completed before the end of the year, and once it is done there will be a huge improvement in the supply of electricity to the good people of Ghana.