Although bribery allegations are still lingering over his head, newly sworn in the Energy Minister, Mr Boakye Agyarko has stated Ghanaians could have some relief on how much they pay for utility, especially electrify, in the first 100 days of the new administration.
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Speaking to the Finder moments after he was sworn into office as Minister by the President on Friday, he said government would begin an ambitious programme to gradually reduce tariffs on electricity to bring some relief to Ghanaians.
He said “We will begin the incremental reduction of tariffs on electricity so that people begin to get some relief. There are other things we will do within the first 500 days,” he said.
He mentioned that most of the entities in the energy sector do not have a healthy balance sheet and, therefore, are not able to operate efficiently as they should.
“My first task is to make sure that I improve the health of the balance sheets of the various sector so that they can act as credible entities and credible off-takers for energy production“.
According to him, government will follow through its manifesto promise which gives clear guidelines on what it intends to do in the power sector, adding that new measures, such as the enactment of new legislation to make government more efficient, would be prioritized.
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“The nation would be excited with what we have to offer within our term office,” he assured.
Speaking to concerns of possible challenges in power generation due to some planned shutdowns of some major plants such as Ameri and the Ghana Gas company, the Minister said adequate arrangements have been made for gas from Nigeria and supplementary power from neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire to help mitigate the effect of the scheduled shutdown.
The power generating company, the Volta River Authority (VRA), earlier last week, announced of a planned shutdown of the Ghana Gas company to allow the connection of the TEN fields to the Atuabo plant.
The shutdown is expected to affect the Ameri Plant leading to a shortfall in production of about 230MW and possibly trigger some power supply challenges
But Agyarko said government is not leaving anything to chance to ensure that Ghanaians enjoy uninterrupted power supply.
“We would not take that chance for it to happen; we would rather find the substitution power so that the question of the power triggering off doesn’t happen. We are negotiating with La Cote d’Ivoire to give us the balance and we pushing pipeline gas from Nigeria into the western enclave to make up for the 300MW of power that would be lost during the shutdown period,” he added.