The Government of Ghana has expressed unhappiness about the posture and manner in which the Chamber of Independent Power Producers Bulk Consumers and Distributors (CIPDiB) has been threatening to shut down their power plants.
According to the government, it does not understand why the IPPs Chamber is being used as a pressure institution to hound it when the latter is already fulfilling its monetary obligations to them.
CIPDiB, which is the umbrella body of Independent Power Producers in the West African country, has claimed that the government owed them to the tune of U.S$1.5 billion as at July 2020.
However, the government has managed to pay half a billion of the debt, thereby, bringing the total government’s indebtedness to about U.S$1 billion.
Energynewsafrica.com understands that the government, through the Ministry of Finance, had an arrangement with the IPPs to settle the outstanding debts which included debt inherited from the previous administration.
In a letter dated 4th November, 2020, addressed to the Energy Minister, John-Peter Amewu, and copied to President Nana Akufo-Addo on Wednesday, the Chairman of CIPDiB Board, Togbe Afedi expressed worry about how their calls for the government to pay them for the services they had rendered to the nation had been misconstrued.
The group, then, issued a warning notice to the CEO of Ghana Grid Company and copied ECG and Ministry of Energy, declaring their intention to shut down their power plants over failure of the government to settle 80 percent of its indebtedness.
Speaking on an Accra-based Asaase Radio with Emmanuel Aboagye Wiafe on Monday, November 16, 2020, Deputy Minister for Energy in charge of Power, William Owuraku Aidoo accused the IPPs’ Chamber of engaging in blackmail.
“The way we see it, is that the Chamber is being used unfortunately as a pressure institution to hound the government? The government is engaged in a one-on-one discussion with the IPPs and I’m talking of about entities like Karpower, Aksa, Sunon Asogli etc. We have understanding with them vis-a-vis the payments that are outstanding and the government is making good by paying them cash and bond, and as far as the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Finance are concerned, we don’t have any problem with the power producers,” he said.
Mr. Owuraku Aidoo explained that the purpose of setting up the Cash Waterfall Mechanism was to ensure that monies due to all entities within the power generating, transmission, distribution and fuel suppliers were paid, stressing that though it is not providing all the monies needed to pay the IPPs, some irregularity of payment is coming from it.
He revealed that the Ministry of Finance is setting up ‘Delta Fund’ with the objective of plucking the shortfall in collection so that going forward, the government would be able to pay IPPs and also fuel suppliers.
‘‘In the interim, while that is being done, the Finance Ministry is doing its utmost to keep everybody happy and I do believe that having spoken to these individual IPPs, they are reasonably happy with the arrangement we have with them,’’ he said.
He, therefore, did not understand why three weeks to the General Elections, the Chamber would be issuing threatening statement to the effect of pulling the plug on the government.
“I have spoken to the major producers and they confirmed to me that they are not part of what one might call a conspiracy to create an unnecessary panic in the system,” he said.
According to the Deputy Energy Minister, the government would not sit aloof for the Chamber to continue to threaten the country, saying they would pull the plug.
“We don’t want any IPP to threaten to pull the plug and as a sovereign state, we will not allow that to happen,” he said.