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02.05.2007 General News

President raps nation on energy crisis


President John Agyekum Kufuor has rallied the nation to face the current energy crisis with confidence as the Government pushes ahead with medium and long-term strategies to solve it.

He counselled that all should make a deliberate effort to conserve energy.

President Kufuor was addressing this year's National May Day Parade at the Independence Square in Accra, which was on the theme "Labour and Nation-Building: 50 Years and Beyond".

He announced that the Government was importing five million dollars worth of energy saving bulbs to be retailed at concessionary prices to the public, something that should enable the country to phase out high energy consuming bulbs.

President Kufuor said: "I must assure you that in the mean time, implementation of the medium to long-term policies are on-going. In the immediate term, the importation of thermal plants will improve the generation capacity substantially by August, this year."

He outlined various strategies to address the shortfall in the country's energy requirement, mentioning among them the West African Gas Pipeline, which is expected to come on-stream soon, the Bui Hydro-electric Dam Project and the exploration of other energy sources like bio-diesel and solar.

President Kufuor touched on efforts being made to reactivate the country's textile and the poultry industries, with the announcement of the planned inauguration of the revitalised Juapong Textiles Mill on May 11, 2007 and the establishment of a broiler processing factory in Kumasi with the capacity to process 16,000 birds a day.
President Kufuor said the Juapong Textiles Mill, a Ghana-China partnership, at the moment was employing 185 workers and at full capacity the factory would employ 800 workers.

He noted that Ghana could not survive better than going into partnership with China, as far as textiles were concerned and asked labour to be at one with Government on this so as to sustain the industry and jobs.

The President's Special Initiative on Garments and Textiles, he said, was making headway and had trained over 8,000 people in mass production techniques, using industrial machines.

Currently 2,200 people have been employed under the PSI on Garment and this is expected to grow to 5,000 ultimately.

The Kumasi Broiler Processing Factory, is a collaboration between the Government and the Agricultural Development Bank and would be launched before the end of the month.

President Kufuor said there were plans to develop out-growers in the catchment area to produce for the factory.

Source: GNA