The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has appealed to government to immediately set in motion accelerated programmes to settle the debt of the utilities to create healthy institutions to manage the delivery of power.
At a press conference in Accra recently, ACEP said: “We hereby remind the government of its promise to develop and implement an energy sector financial restructuring and recovery plan with liquidity management mechanisms for the utility companies. Government should let the public know how much has accrued from the energy sector levy which was instituted by the past government and its utilization so far. Government should, in that process, let the public know for how long they have to pay the levy so that the relief from payment of the levy can be anticipated and tracked.”
Benjamin Boakye, Deputy Executive Director of ACEP, who addressed the media, also called on government to fulfill its manifesto promise to conduct a technical audit of power sector infrastructure, and develop and implement a 10-year master plan, adding that such audit is relevant to ascertain the efficiency and robustness of the power sector infrastructure to serve our need for a stable power supply.
“We also urge government to fulfill its promise to reduce taxes on electricity tariffs to provide immediate relief to households and industry.
“The 17.5 percent VAT on industrial consumers should as a matter of urgency be removed to improve the cash flow of businesses and their productivity.”
ACEP also called on government to take steps to renegotiate the terms of the AMERI, Karpower and AKSA contracts to lessen the plight of consumers.
“We are convinced that value for money was not achieved in those contracts. We further urge government to fulfill its promise to institute competitive bidding processes for future generation addition to ensure value for money and abolish the current practice of single sourcing all power contracts.”
Noting that the Renewable Energy Act provided incentive for deployment of renewable technologies such as Solar, Biomass and Mini Hydro, it said government, in fulfillment of its promise to increase the proportion of renewable energy in the national energy mix, should clarify the incentives, simplify processes and encourage investment in these technologies to reduce reliance on importation of fuel for power generation.
Upstream sector challenges
Cumulatively, Ghana could be producing between 180,000bpd and 200,000bpd upon successful completion of repair works on the turret of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah.
“The challenge going forward is that new commercial discoveries are not being made.
The implication is that in the short to medium term, Ghana cannot add new producing fields beyond Jubilee, TEN and Sankofa, which will have negative implications on our revenue generation capacity.
“The Ghana-Ivory Coast boundary dispute and non-performing exploration agreements are the two key problems hampering discoveries. Some of the companies holding petroleum agreements are not complying with their minimum work obligations. This vindicates ACEP’s position, when the contracts were being signed, that the profile of the companies showed that they did not demonstrate adequate capacity to exploit the blocks, and that there was no justification to rush those contracts through Parliament.”
By Samuel Boadi