A Ranking Member on Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, John Abdulai Jinapor, has taken on the government over the recent power outages being experienced in parts of the country.

Parts of Accra in particular have been experiencing erratic power cuts for the past few days, leading to frustration and anger among some Ghanaians. For most electricity consumers, they are unhappy with the lack of prior communication and explanation for the widespread outages.

Government owes the West African Pipeline Company (WAPCo) an amount of $19 million. Confirming the amount, a Deputy Minister of Energy, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, said the government has settled $13 million of that, leaving an arrears of $6 million.

He assured that government is in talks with WAPCo to come out with a payment plan for the remaining $6 million.

But in an interview on Top Story on Thursday, January 11, Mr Jinapor indicated that the amount owed to the West African Pipeline Company (WAPCo) should not warrant a load shedding.

“Indeed if $19 million is a major problem, then, we have a serious problem to deal with. If $19 million can lead to this situation, then, we have a huge problem as a country because I thought that a country the size of Ghana and given our GDP, $19 million should not lead to a load shedding of about 600 megawatts,” he said.

He also bemoaned the political interference in the cash waterfall mechanism, adding that this is a worry to even industry players such as the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) and Ghana Gas.

Mr Jinapor also blamed the Ministry of Finance for the power outage situation noting that “if the Ministry of Finance mismanages the economy and the cedi depreciates to the level to which we saw, then, government must be willing and ready to make that payment.”

Commenting on the introduction of Value Added Tax on electricity, he said that move is “uncalled for and needless.”

According to him, government ought to have converted the tax into the tariff adjustment in order that the revenue would be available to the power sector players.

He explained that “to pay about 25% extra on electricity consumption as a domestic consumer only to go to central government when you can’t even get revenue, I have a problem with that.”

Meanwhile, government has assured that the power outage situation has been completely resolved.

The Deputy Minister of Energy, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, on the Midday News, assured Ghanaians that the country is not back to its ‘dumsor’ days.

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