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Dumsor situation keeps worsening by the day – John Jinapor

Dumsor situation keeps worsening by the day - John Jinapor

Dumsor situation keeps worsening by the day

The recent power outages, popularly known as ‘Dumsor’,

appear to be worsening despite several assurances from

the Government and managers of the power sector.

Since the beginning of 2021, many parts of the country have

consistently been plunged into a state of darkness often without

prior notice to consumers, unfortunately, the situation keeps worsening

by the day. While most Ghanaians have been witnessing intermittent

power outages, others have been experiencing low currents and

occasional high voltage leading to damage of their electrical gadgets

and assets in some cases.

It should be noted that since the beginning of the year, GRIDCo

alone has given six different reasons for the major national outages

aside the intermittent localised blackouts.

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What is even more disturbing is despite confirmation from GRIDCo that the

country will continue to experience these power outages into the foreseeable

future for which reason they promised to publish a load management schedule,

the schedule has been put on hold due to political pressure from the executive.

It is a well-known fact especially amongst energy sector players that the current

outages in the country are due to financial challenges and not because of

technical challenges as being claimed by GRIDCo and Government officials.

This is because the transmission lines and transformers are congested due to

underinvestment and lack of regular maintenance resulting from the poor

financial health of the energy sector SOEs.

Indeed, it will be recalled that in March 2018, the current CEO of GRIDCo

cautioned that the Country was likely to experience major power supply

challenges. This was after President Akufo-Addo took a populist decision

to usurp the authority of the PURC by slashing the revenue flows of GRIDCo

and other utility agencies. Unfortunately, this caution fell on deaf ears.

It is, therefore, not surprising that electricity consumers (Ghanaians) find

themselves in this difficult but avoidable situation.

Most of the Energy sector SOEs have continued to witness worsening

financial positions since the assumption of office by President Akufo-Addo

despite his administration receiving over 12 billion cedis in ESLA revenues

and almost 20 billion in petroleum revenues over the past four years.

The ECG, which recorded a profit of over 500 million cedis under

President Mahama in 2016, has posted cumulative losses of over 4 billion

cedis since the 2017 financial year.

The GRIDCo, which also posted profits in 2016, has equally taken a turn

for the worst with total comprehensive loss of over 600 million cedis

as captured in their 2018 financial Statement. Due to the worsening

financial position of GRIDCo, Agence Française de Développement

has had to withhold funding for a major upgrade of the National

transmission line culminating in congestion of the GRID.

As if that is not enough, the Energy Commission which is the

technical regulator of the  sector has seen its budget slashed by more

than half on account of the Capping and Realignment Act rendering

the commission ineffective.

According to the 2019 PIAC report, of the US$334,636,806.22 of raw

Gas supplied by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to

Ghana Gas (GNGC), no payment was received, largely on account of

VRA’s inability to pay GNGC for the lean gas supplied bringing the

total indebtedness of GNGC to GNPC in respect of lean gas supplies

to US$668,118,346.04. From the foregoing, it is obvious the current

load shedding (Dumsor) being inflicted  on Ghanaians is a result of

mismanagement and unnecessary political interference by the

Akufo-Addo Government in the management of the Energy sector.

It will be recalled that when the nation was faced with a similar challenge

under the NDC, the Mahama Government was candid with Ghanaians

and proceeded to implement pragmatic policies to comprehensively

address the challenge and subsequently handed over a resilient and

robust energy sector to President Akufo-Addo. Note that President

Mahama is on record to have also bequeathed over 230 million cedis in

the ESLA account to President Akufo- Addo in 2017.

Dumsor situation keeps worsening  by the day
Dumsor situation keeps worsening by the day
Instead of conceding on their shortcomings and being honest with

Ghanaians, this Government has adopted political chicanery,

denial and misinformation as a cardinal tool whilst the ordinary

Ghanaian is made to bear the brunt of these avoidable power outages.

Government must, therefore, come clean on the current power crisis as a matter

of urgency and desist from engaging in blame game.

Shifting blame and providing conflicting information only goes to exacerbate the

crisis which is threatening lives and businesses across the country.

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