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01.06.2007 General News

Help solve energy crisis - President Kufuor


President John Agyekum Kufuor has appealed to Ghanaians to give the government the needed support to find a lasting solution to the energy crisis.

He lamented that a section of the citizenry was blaming the government for not instituting appropriate and efficient measures to avert the crisis.

Speaking at the second quarterly meeting with members of the Council of State at the Castle, President Kufuor said government foresaw the imminent crisis in 2001 and has since started putting the needed measures in place.

He said it was against that background that government went all out to pay Ghana's equity of the West African Gas Pipeline project.

President Kufuor said the project would have come into being to solve the crisis but for a ship that dropped its anchor on the pipeline last year in Benin resulting in excessive damages.

He however, gave the assurance that the project would be completed in August.

He said as part of the solution to the crisis government had imported emergency strategic plants to augment power supply from the Akosombo Dam while negotiations with China had also been completed for work to begin on the construction of the Bui Dam.

Government, he said, was also considering the establishment of coal plants in addition to the Aboadze Thermal Plant.

With the successful implementation of all these measures, President Kufuor said the current energy capacity of the country would be doubled within the next four to five years.

He said efforts were underway to get some international organisations to modernise energy transmission to enable the generators to reach all parts of the country.

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), according to him, would also be modernised for it to determine the appropriate tariffs.

President Kufuor described the labour front as very turbulent in view of the strikes by health workers, teachers, civil servants and recently senior staff of the Central Bank.

He said government was doing everything possible to address the issues.

On the drug menace, the President said, Ghana was cooperating with Britain and the United States of America to manage the situation with the view to controlling and eradicating it from the system.

He announced that government would also reconstitute the Narcotic Control Board (NACOB).

President Kufuor said the July AU Summit in Accra promises to be a historic one as it has the sole agenda of determining the roadmap to an African Union government.

The Chairman of the Council of State, Professor Daniel Adzei-Bekoe, earlier impressed upon government to tackle the energy crisis seriously.

He called for alternative sources of generating electricity in order to ensure the nation total energy security.

Prof. Adzei-Bekoe said the council was happy to learn that the Bui Dam was about to begin and advised that careful and accurate estimates be made transparent to forestall any suspicion.

Source: The Ghanaian Times