Mr. Adam Mutawakilu has stated categorically that power challenges being experienced in Ghana recently are mainly due to financial problems. Speaking in an interview on the issue on TV3, the energy expert said that Gridco had been complaining of financial challenges over the years.
They complained of ECG not paying the amount owed to them to the extent that it was widely reported in the media. The government did not listen to them. They threatened to cut some major consumers of electricity that they transmit power to. Again, the government did listen to them.
According to him, Gridco needed to continue with the implementation of a number of projects they had initiated in a bid to improve upon operational capacity. However, they could not implement them because of financial challenges.
“Most of these projects were from the NDC era to the nana Akufu Addo era. But they’ve not been able to continue as they were being executed. Some of them, even payment of project compensation to project affected persons have become a problem.”
He was therefore happy that the implementation of the Cash Waterfall Mechanism had
“So with the implementation of the cash waterfall that was initiated under the NDC regime under President Mahama. That is yielding results because it was fully implemented in March and is now yielding results. Gridco is now getting some money from that and that is why they are carrying out this project.”
The Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWM) is a system intended to see the crafting of a formula for the equitable and predictable distribution of revenue to all stakeholders in the electricity value chain, with the setting up of an escrow account from which funds would be allocated to power producers, fuel suppliers, and other creditors.
According to experts, ECG fails to collect over about 25% of the electricity it bills its consumers, thereby making it difficult for the company to pay for the services of power producers, fuel suppliers, and other electricity service providers.
In his response to whether he agreed with Dr Kwabena Donkor who has been reported as saying that finance and management are the major issues with the ECG, he was quick to confirm his agreement.
“Exactly, that is exactly what I am talking about. They’ve been crying for financial resources over the years. The management to a point asked them to sign an agreement that they won’t disclose challenges from Gridco to the public but the workers resisted it. That means they were just covering up for government, such that Government should not be exposed of their incompetence in the sector.”
According to him the generation and distribution of power need financial resources to be able to be reliable and well secured. Without it, we will have challenges.
Touching on the power outages, he said it proper for the ECG and leadership to admit that Dumsor is with us and therefore publish a timetable to enable consumers to plan their activities accordingly.
“It is very important that Ghanaian people must know. The residential and industrial consumers must know when there will be power outages so that they can plan their business activities and household activities to be able to absorb the shock from the power outages. But if you cannot tell me when I will get lights off then a lot of activities will not be able planned and implemented.
It is therefore very important that a timetable is out for us to be able to plan. Whether we like it or not, dumsor is with us and we must accept it and stop using other technical terms to describe it.”
“If ECG requires money, it must first of all look at how it will be able to reduce its commercial and technical losses which is about 25%, which means for every dealing of 100m, ECG loses 25million. So if they are able to reduce it, it is another way of getting money to run ECG.
However, if the minister says that there is enough money. This problem is not because there is no money, then there is no justification to now come out and ask for an increment in tariffs. Then ECG must come and tell us that what the minister said is not factual and the reality is that we need money.
But the minister has made it categorically that it is as a result of money so therefore we don’t expect any tariff increment.”