The Electricity Company of Ghana is currently undertaking comprehensive rehabilitation works across the country to improve efficiency and service delivery, former Minister of Energy John Peter Amewu has said.
The GHC100 million project, according to him, is expected to see the replacement of all obsolete equipment of ECG to facilitate the smooth running of the institution to enable Ghanaians derive maximum benefits in the long term.
He also said Ghana had achieved a major milestone by exporting 250 to 300MW electricity to her neighbours such as Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin and Cote D’Ivoire saying, the country has generated enough power to surpass the demands of citizens.
“I am happy to announce to this House that for the first time in the history of this country export arrangements are in excess sometimes of about 250 to 300 megawatts being given to Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Benin and Republic of Togo,” he said.
The Hohoe MP, however, explained that the receivers of the electricity are not developed enough to utilise all the power that is given, which ends up being wasted, and accounting for the financial loss from excess power generated.
Although he was hopeful that Ghana could increase its power exports in the future, he bemoaned the fact that the infrastructural limitations of the receivers of this exported power made it difficult to do so.
“Ghana could increase its exports but the infrastructure is not developed in these countries, so we are limited by the amount of power that we can export that is why it comes back to us as power being available and not consumed,” the Railways Minister-designate said.
He indicated that the government has paid about GHC1.2 million to the ECG, VRA and NeDCo to cover the free electricity to Ghanaians as part of Covid-19 relief package to Ghanaians.
Responding to lawmakers about his handling of the electricity subsector and ECG debts, he stated that “I want to use this opportunity to announce to Ghanaians that the government of Ghana has fully paid its debts owed ECG.”
He added that “all debts that Ghana owes, including the debts of Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies, and Ministries have been fully paid by the Ministry of Finance.”
Reliable railway sector
Touching on the railway sector, Mr Amewu noted that when properly developed, the sector could go a long way to increase productivity, thereby, boosting the economic growth of the country.
“Mr Chairman, the railway sector has its own advantages. The life span of most of our roads we witness in this country is a maximum of eleven years but a railway if well-constructed can take up to 50 years. So the advantage is that when you put your railways sector in order, then you are going to migrate traffic from the current existing dense traffic on our roads to the railway,” he told the Appointments Committee.