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26.03.2007 General News

US$170m PUMPED INTO RESOLVING POWER CRISIS* Baah Wiredu promises W/Africa GP project ready in two months

By (ghanaian-chronicle)
US$170m PUMPED INTO RESOLVING POWER CRISIS* Baah Wiredu promises W/Africa GP project ready in two months

THE MINISTER of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, has reiterated the government's commitment to solve the perennial power crisis facing the country as presented to Parliament by President Kufuor in his State of the Nation address.

This, according to the Minister, has led to the injection of $170 million in solving the crisis, the fund being a multilateral threshold fund that was expected to be paid to the World Bank, the Africa Development Bank (ADB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Again he said, the West Africa Gas Pipeline project, which forms part of the short term move by the government in solving the power crisis, is expected to be completed in less than one and half months because he found the pace of work very encouraging during a duty tour to the site in Tema recently.

Mr. Baah-Wiredu continued that, the Osagyefo Barge project that is deemed to provide 120 mega watts of power was also receiving feverish attention from technicians. He said the Ministry of Energy was also working around the clock to retrieve Ghana 's power supply to Togo and Benin including a supplementary one from La Cote d'Ivoire.

Speaking in an interview granted to Angel 96.1 Fm, a local radio station in Kumasi, the Finance Minister disclosed that about one million CFLS bulbs with a power consumption level of 11 kilowatts of energy had been imported into the country for use and replacement of the filament bulbs that consume between 40 to 100 kilowatts of energy as part of the energy conservation practice.

He indicated further that Government would make it a practice for public hospitals, schools, state institutions, and official residencies throughout the country to use the energy-saving bulbs in order to minimize waste of power.

As part of the solution of the power crisis, Mr. Baah-Wiredu, who is the MP for Asante-Akim North Constituency, said high power consuming streetlight bulbs would also be changed under the exercise, and more pre-paid metres would be introduced into the system.

The Minister noted that almost everyday and minute, experts and technocrats meet to deliberate on the way forward in ending Ghana 's energy problem and this underscores the NPP government's commitment to ameliorating the prevailing situation.

He agreed to the Bank of Ghana's assertion that the power crisis could affect the revenue the nation will generate this year and added that the crisis could eat into the divestiture sector thereby affecting the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country in the overall term.

He, however, stated that governance of a nation should not be concentrated on the energy sector alone, but also other sectors of the economy to ensure growth, although energy is critical.

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