Wednesday, 1 March 2017

If A Managed Power Load-Shedding Regime Has To Return So Be It - But A Timetable To End The Uncertainty Is A Must

It is said that honesty is always the best policy in life. Honesty will definitely be the best policy to underpin all the decisions the current government will have to take in fixing the power crisis.

There has to be transparency on the part of government in dealing with the obvious difficulties the nation faces in the power sector - if Ghanaians are to accept that managed load-shedding will have to be instituted: whiles the sector's many problems are sorted out.

No sincere Ghanaian will blame the current government if a managed load-shedding regime - with a timetable that removes the current unhelpful uncertainties - is put in place now whiles the medium to long-term solutions to end our power crisis permanently are also outlined clearly to the public by the relevant authorities, at the same time.

Businesses and households across the nation, as well as other eletricity users countrywide, all need to plan ahead to ensure that they  can cope with - and  are able to live with - disruptions caused by the load-shedding. 

Furthermore, if Ghanaians get to know what the exact nature of the challenges confronting the power sector actually are, and are made aware of what the government intends to do to resolve them in the medium to long-term (with timelines), they can live with load-shedding - confident in the knowledge that a lasting solution will finally emerge in the long run.
 
President Akufo-Addo still enjoys the goodwill of an overwhelming  majority of ordinary people in Ghana. Why does he not take a leaf from U.S. President Trump's book - and tear up all the inimical power-sector agreements for emergency power plants entered into  by the previous administration?

If he is creative enough, perhaps he can get Turkey's no-nonsense president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to lean on the Karpower power-ship's owners to agree to convert the one-sided agreement they have with Ghana, into a full sale and purchase agreement - in which the power-ship is sold to and paid for by Ghana in installments.

He can also approach His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai - who is famous for being fair-minded and is a stickler for good governance principles underpinning the businesses of  Dubai-based companies operating both at home and overseas - to do same for the outrageously overpriced Ameri-supplied 10 emergency gas-fired power plants.

In any case, it is far better for the government to confront this issue now, than to allow it to fester and end up as a propaganda-narrative for its political opponents - for it to be harrassed regularly with: and  turned into political football by sundry, ill-intentioned nation-wreckers.

Clearly,  as a progressive society,  if we are to be able to have affordable electricity tariffs in Ghana, the government must aim to power the enterprise Ghana with 100 percent renewable energy, as soon as practicable.

Such a national goal is not an impossible dream. It is doable - and as a people if we put our minds to it we can definitely achieve that target in less than ten years.

With the  advances made thus far in energy storage technologies that is now absolutely feasible.  All that is needed is the political will to make the entire value-chain for  the renewable energy sector tax-free.  Market forces will then do the rest. For sure.

Finally, as regards the disruptions in power supply now being experienced across the country, the important thing is that the authorities are honest  with Ghanaians: If a managed load-shedding regime has to return so be it - but a timetable must be rolled out immediately to end the unhelpful uncertainty over power supply. We rest our case.
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