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27.04.2007 General News

A PRESS CONFERENCE A DAY----Will not wish the energy crisis away!

By Ghana Palaver

Ever since Professor John Evans Atta-Mills, NDC 2008 Presidential candidate, dazzled the nation with his display of mastery of the electricity sub-sector at his Press Conference of April 4th 2007 and offered the assistance of NDC energy gurus to help resolve the crisis, the NPP Government and its propaganda machinery have gone into overdrive. They have done everything to suggest that they are on top of the situation, but the more they talk, the angrier the people get for the talking is not bringing the much needed electricity.

Instead, the situation is getting worse, and now the power cuts are 12 hours out every 48 hours, and that is when the power is available. That is why the NPP talk is so annoying, as if they can debate the NDC out of the equation and as if by talking, the crisis is resolved.

The NPP Government must be told plainly that a Press Conference a day will not make the energy crisis go away, and that the earlier they stopped talking and started acting, the better it would be for everybody.

If ever anybody wanted to do a case study of "Government by Propaganda", the NPP Government's handling of the energy crisis would present an excellent opportunity.

As soon as Professor Mills spoke, they deployed the biggest of their guns from the world of medicine, academia, mathematical physics, quantum mechanics, politics, you name it.

The first attempted response by the Energy Minister himself was a total fiasco. Professor Mills' "I stand by my facts, I stand by my offer. You stop talking and produce the electricity", caught them completely flat-footed.

So they pushed Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng forward. He is a cardio-thoracic specialist surgeon, the Chief Executive Officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, and an NPP Presidential candidate aspirant. He said we should go for solar energy.

Next followed President John Agyekum Kufuor himself. Not satisfied with the 'faux pas' he committed in his 'State of the Nation' Address on 8th February 2007, when he announced that power would be coming from Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire within a fortnight and which never materialised, he went to Abetifi and announced that not only was his Government working to resolve the crisis, but also that his Government would be producing 4,000 MW of power in 5 years. Total maximum power generated ever since independence is less that 1,500 MW, and President Kufuor himself since he assumed office 6 years ago has not added 1 KW (not MW) to the power stock ("Kwaterekwa se obema wo ntoma a, tie ne din").
Minister of Energy Joseph Kofi Adda was next. He announced that the first set of emergency power generators had arrived at Tema. They would produce 30 MW of power. The energy shortfall is in the region of 700 MW.

Professor F.K.A. Allotey followed. He is a Professor of Mathematical Physics, a member of the Energy Commission Board and a one-time Chairman of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC). He said nuclear energy for electricity is no longer an option or a luxury but a necessity.
The next day, the Daily Graphic published that a source at the GAEC had revealed to it that the Government had decided to opt for nuclear energy for electricity!

Two days later, it was announced that a Committee under Professor Adzei-Bekoe had been set up to examine the possibility of the nuclear option. Professor Adzei-Bekoe is a Professor of Chemistry, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, a failed candidate for the Chairmanship of the NPP and currently the Chairman of President Kufuor's Council of State and of the Board of the GAEC.

Energy Minister Joseph Kofi Adda came again. He announced a split of the VRA into two and the formation of a company called GRIDCO to be in charge of the transmission lines while VRA concentrated on power production, as if that was to increase the availability of electricity power.

Three days later, Adda was back again, this time pictured with the Attorney General Joe Ghartey signing an EPC Agreement with Synohydro of PRC (China) for the construction of the Bui Hydro Electric Dam scheduled for completion in 2012!
Whilst all this propaganda has been going on, electricity is cut every 12 hours out of 48, when the power is available. The total power shortfall is 700 MW, and after all the NPP Press Conferences, interviews, news conferences and leaked news items, all that the Government has added to the national power stock is 30 MW.
Need we say more?

Published below is a Matrix of the NPP Propaganda blitz since Professor Mills' Press Conference of 4th April, 2007. Please note that the Matrix is not exhaustive as some of the public pronouncements of NPP officials on the energy crisis, such as the claim by NPP/UGM whiz-kid Dr. Charles Yves Wereko-Brobby that the emergency power plants brought in by the Government are "toys", have not been included.

Matrix of NPP Propaganda Blitz on the Energy Crisis

Tuesday, 3rd April 2007 Daily Graphic, Front Page Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng Chief Executive, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and NPP Presidential aspirant WR/RCC Ghana @50 Anniversary Lecture, Sekondi Ghana should go for solar energy to reduce burden on national grid

Monday, 9th April, 2007 Daily Graphic, Front Page John Agyekum Kufuor President of the Republic of Ghana Easter Durbar of Chiefs and people of Kwahu Traditional Area, Abetifi Government is vigorously taking appropriate measures to solve the energy problem to bring about normalcy and adequacy of power supplies in the short, medium and long term and for domestic and industrial needs.

Monday, 9th April, 2007 Daily Graphic, Front Page Joseph Kofi Adda Minister of Energy News Conference The first set of emergency power generators producing 30 mw to augment the national energy supplies has started working in Tema.

Tuesday, 10th April, 2007 The Chronicle, Front Page Professor Francis Kofi Ampenyi Allotey Professor of Mathematical Physics and member of Energy Commission Board Interview Nuclear energy for electricity is no more an option or a luxury, it is a necessity.

Wednesday, 11th April, 2007 Daily Graphic, Front Page A source at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) GAEC A Daily Graphic Scoop After consultations between Cabinet and officials of the GAEC, the Government has resolved to opt for nuclear energy as an alternative source of power in a move to avert any future energy crisis.
Tuesday, 17th April 2007 Daily Graphic,

Front Page Joseph Kofi Adda Minister of Energy Partnership Training Programme for Ghanaian and American Regulatory Commissioners The Government has split the VRA into two entities to pave the way for the active participation of Independent Power Producers in the power sector, establishing the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCO) to be in charge of the transmission lines while VRA maintains its function as a power generator.

Friday, 20th April, 2007 Daily Graphic, Front Page Joseph Kofi Adda/ Joe Ghartey Minister of Energy/Attorney General Signing of Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) Agreement The Ghana Government and Synohydro, the Chinese construction company which is to build the Bui Hydro Electric Dam, signed a major agreement to pave the way for the actual construction of the 400 MW power supply project to begin.

Friday, 20th April, 2007 Daily Graphic, Page 3. Graphic source Graphic Source Graphic Source A Committee headed by Professor Adzei Bekoe has been put in place to consider the viability of establishing a nuclear power plant to generate electricity.