By Dr. Kwame Ampofo
I have read, with amazement, the unsubstantiated and laughable claim made by Hon. Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, Deputy Minister of Energy, at the Energy Manifesto Town Hall meeting organised by the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors (CBOD) in Accra on Friday, November 7, 2020, to the effect that NPP are better managers of the Energy Sector than the NDC.
According to Dr. Amin Adam, when the NDC is in power, it mismanages the energy sector, but when the NPP takes over, it manages the sector “very efficiently”. What a loose talk! What a baseless claim! May I ask what key performance indicators did the Honourable Deputy Minister use to arrive at those absurd conclusions? Dr. Adam could do himself a lot of good if he would share with us, the basis for his unguarded and sweeping claim.
Obviously, Dr. Adam must have just been playing to the gallery and indulging in lame propaganda, in an attempt to conceal the truth of their abysmal failures from his audience, while hoping to score some cheap political points.
With regard to the ECG, Dr. Adam claimed that the NDC left a debt of GHc2 billion, without indicating the source of that debt. Rather, the truth of the matter is that the NDC administration, in its determination to strengthen the financial base of the power sector, passed the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) in 2016, which left a safe and reliable source of huge funds to help maintain a good financial health of the power sector. Indeed, ESLA raked in over GHC3 billion in 2017 alone and even more in the successive years, for the benefit of the Akufo-Addo regime, to secure the financial soundness of the sector. Sadly, Akufo-Addo and his NPP administration (of which Dr. Amin Adam is a leading member) have misapplied the fund, by mortgaging it for the next fifteen years (just as they have done with the GETFUND). It is, therefore, not surprising that Dr. Adam deliberately avoided the mention of the ESLA because he could not account for its use and explain why the sector still finds itself in such financial distress, even after four years of accumulated ESLA revenue.
Dr. Amin Adam further claimed that the current government had injected an amount of GHc4 billion into the operations of the ECG, even though there is no evidence to support this claim. If this assertion was true, then can the Honourable Deputy Minister explain why the Chamber of Independent Power Producers, Distributors and Bulk Consumers have served notice to the government about their resolve to shut down their power generating plants and withdraw their services totally? This notice, the Chamber explained, is to back their demand on the ECG and the government to settle at least 80% of their overdue receivables worth about a whopping US$1.0 billion!
Another evidence of the gross mismanagement and blatant corruption, in respect of the ECG, is how the Ministry of Energy, of which Dr. Adam is a Deputy Minister, facilitated the stealing of billions of Cedis from ECG by associates of the Presidency, through the shameful prosecution of the notorious PDS scandal. Through this obnoxious, criminal PDS deal, cronies (families and friends) of the Akufo-Addo government were aided by officialdom to illegally siphon and pocket over GhC2 billion in revenues belonging to ECG, that they illegally collected over a five months period, and simply allowed to walk away, while Dr. Adam and his Ministry of Energy simply looked on, unconcerned. This dirty PDS scam has also cost the State some US$500 million in lost grant money offered by the United States government, through the Millennium Challenge Account. Maybe Dr. Amin Adam will tell us what they are doing about this disgraceful thievery, to return the stolen money to ECG to improve the financial standing of the company and bring the perpetrators of this PDS scam to book.
It must be put on record that former President John Dramani Mahama and his NDC government conceived and initiated this Private Sector Participation (PSP) in the ECG Project, with good intension, to clean up the mess at ECG and make the company more efficient, by injecting private capital and modern technology into its operations. The NPP government inherited this laudable initiative of the NDC but quickly turned it into a criminal stealing opportunity for the family and friends of President Akufo-Addo, and a dreadful nightmare for the rest of us, the people of Ghana.
Other prominent corrupt practices recorded under this NPP administration in Dr. Amin’s energy sector, include:
(a) The Ameri scandal, that caused the sacking of his first boss, the former Minister for Energy
(b) The BOST contaminated fuel scandal
(c) The persistent theft and diversion of premix fuel meant for the fishing industry,
(d) The Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company scandal, to mention only a few.
Indeed, this government’s tenure of office has been characterised by one scandal after another, all of which have cost the good people of Ghana so much in financial loss to the state. So, how could Dr. Adam possibly describe, as “very efficient”, such scandals-riddled governance of the Energy Sector under his supervision?
With reference to the debate, as to whether the power crisis was resolved by the NPP or the NDC, all that Dr. Adam had to say was that, “the NDC did not plan well to put in the mechanism to flow our gas from the West to the East where we have most of the generation capacity”. This assertion by the Deputy Minister is totally false, as the idea of reverse flow of processed natural gas is our NDC engineering plan, that is contained in our handing over notes to them. But, this is a whole topic that I wish to reserve for my next write-up (which will be devoted solely to how the “dumsor” menace was fixed by the NDC, under former President John Dramani Mahama).
I wish to conclude that, verifiable facts and figures in the energy sector, coupled with evidence, already in the public domain and thus, known to the good people of Ghana through media reportage, discussions and debates, point to the fact that the Ministry of Energy under this NPP government, have woefully underperformed. The relative stability in the sector that we are enjoying currently is by virtue of the hard work, foresight and achievements in infrastructural development, coupled with prudent energy sector policies put in place by the past John Mahama government of the NDC.
Source:Dr. Kwame Ampofo (Former Chairman of Energy Commission Under Erstwhile John Dramani Mahama)