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Ghana: Ex- VP Blames Govt for Energy Crisis

Former Ghanaian Vice President, John Atta-Mills says President John Kufuor’s government is responsible for the country’s current energy crisis. Atta-Mills, who is also the presidential candidate for the main opposition party the National Democratic Congress (NDC) made the claim during a news conference to present the party’s position on the energy crisis in the country. Sources say electricity is rationed across the country, causing industries to perform at half capacity. President Kufuor’s government, however, said it is doing all it can to improve the situation.

Atta-Mills Told VOA via telephone from the capital, Accra that the country’s energy situation is dire.

“We have a serious energy crisis in this country, and I thought that as a party it was our duty to share our views with the people of Ghana. And therefore, I decided to hold a press conference in order to look at where we were when we left office, what has happened, and what is the prospect for the future,” he said.

Atta-Mills said the energy sector received a significant boost when the opposition NDC was in power.

“When we came to power, concentration was on hydro, with the Akosombo Dam, we had it retrofitted so that we increase the capacity from 900 megawatts to 1020 megawatts. We then diversified to thermal producing 150 megawatts we encouraged the use of solar energy. We even started looking at the possibility of having another dam in Bui and then smaller dams on some of the smaller rivers,” Atta-Mills pointed out.

He chided President Kufuor’s government for not doing enough to improve upon where the NDC left off.

“Since we left office in 2001 and this present government came to power, they have not added even a megawatt of electricity to our store of energy. So these people cannot turn round and say that we did nothing. Indeed the records are there for all to see, and I believe that Ghanaians can testify to this,” he noted.

Atta-Mills scoffed at President Kufuor’s promise of solving the country’s current energy problem.

“These assertions are not born by the facts. Yes, reference has been made to supply from Nigeria, but look at Nigeria’s own problems. Since we were promised this about six months ago, nothing has materialized. They have not done anything about the Aboadze thermal plant,” he said.

Atta-Mills said the NDC is not playing politics with the energy situation in the country.

“It’s not that we are playing politics with this, we believe that it is the responsibility of us all to let the people of Ghana know the real facts. To tell the truth so that they can sympathize with us, they can then decide that there is a need for us to conserve energy. And it is not proper to raise people’s hopes and then dash them,” he noted.

Atta-Mills reiterated what he called the failure of President Kufuor’s government to be problem solvers.

“The government went to sleep since 2001, they’ve now been shaken out of their slumber. They abandoned the energy area, they did not pursue the program that we have lined up and suddenly, and they are caught with their pants down you cannot overnight produce electricity…. we should not be rushed to taking hasty decisions because in the end they may be counterproductive. You may have facilities, which the ordinary consumer cannot even pay for,” he said.