THE Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama, has stated that demands for upward adjustments in utility tariffs must be based on efficient services to consumers.
He said there could be no justification for increases in tariffs in the midst of unending inefficiencies from the utility providers.
Mr Mahama stated this at the inauguration of the Ghana Grid Company Limited’s (GRIDCo’s) Kumasi-Obuasi Transmission Reinforcement Project in Kumasi yesterday.
The Government of Ghana funded the project, estimated at US$6,677,907.26, and it involved the turnkey construction of approximately 55km of 161kV transmission line from Kumasi to Obuasi. It was completed in 18 months.
The project would facilitate the reinforcement of the transmission supply arrangements into Kumasi to reliably evacuate the increasing power needs of consumers at the major load centres of Kumasi, Obuasi, Kenyasi and through Techiman to the northern parts of the country.
Mr Mahama emphasised that while some tariff increases in electricity might be necessary now, consumers must see visible improvements in services so that any future increases could be justified.
He said the fact that the project was started during the Kufuor administration and completed under the Mills government demonstrated the government’s resolve to continue with all viable projects started by the previous administration.
Mr Mahama said the government was aware of the bottlenecks in the power sector and was working very hard through the sector ministry to address them.
“Indeed the government is supporting GRIDCo to stand on its feet by providing it with the finances to develop new Bulk Supply Substations in Kintampo and Atebubu.
“In addition, the government is also collaborating with the Korean Government and some funding agencies to secure financing for the 330kV transmission line from Aboadze through Prestea to Kumasi and then to Han,” Mr Mahama said.
He further indicated that the government was collaborating with the West African Power Pool (WAPP) Secretariat to secure €14.4 million for the construction of the 48-km stretch transmission line from Han to Burkina Faso.
Stressing the need for sub-regional power projects, the Vice-President said it would not be in the interest of Ghana to pursue independent power policy from the sub-regional wholesale market.
The Minister of Energy, Dr Joe Oteng Agyei, disclosed that the government had secured a $10 million facility to extend electricity to 50 communities in the Ashanti Region and 29 in the Eastern Region.
He further noted that other projects like the Self Help Electrification project (SHEP) was being expanded to 141 communities nationwide.