The Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr. Alban S.K. Bagbin, says the cause of the ongoing energy crisis is as a result of the failure of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to heed advice of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) when it took power in 2001.
"The current government did not listen to the opposition since 2001 when we kept on raising issues that we felt were going to affect the production and management of energy in this country."
"This has led us into this problem. It's really unfortunate that politicians don't learn from history," The Daily Dispatch quotes Mr. Bagbin in an interview published on Wednesday.
According to the Minority Leader, who is also the NDC MP for Nadowli West, it is a shame that Ghana had to go through energy crisis because similar occurrences have been experienced before and hence the NPP should have taken a cue from NDC when it assumed office in 2001.
Mr. Bagbin indicated that the NDC regime put in place a programme which would have added 110 kilowatts every year following the 1998 energy crisis and that programme ought to have been followed by the current administration.
Mr. Bagbin noted that when the government decided a deal with Sahara company, the NDC raised concerns about the contract and that started the energy crisis.
"Because that contract was shrouded in secrecy and in fact it's on the basis of that contract that the then Chief Executive of VRA extended the supply of crude oil and refined oil to the thermal plant which was of a dubious quality because it was not assessed properly and was still being sold at the same price as the original oil and that affected the running of the machine at the thermal plant."
Again, he said, in 2003 the President raised the issue about corruption and maladministration in Volta River Authority (VRA) and the opposition (NDC) insisted that there should be a debate on the energy issue particularly that of the management of the VRA.
He said the suggestion was not taken by the government until 2004 when the motion was debated on the floor of Parliament and a committee was set up to investigate the issue but the government refused to allow the committee to operate and that ended it.
"Because of lack of knowledge of the sector or outright recklessness, government failed to heed to all the warnings and relied on the West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP) which was initiated during our era. Because the WAGP was going to reduce the cost of production of energy. It is not going to add even one kilowatt to the quantum produced.
He thinks that the President was misled because he (President) kept on referring to the fact that the WAGP would be on stream as though that would be the solution to the energy crisis.
He suggested that a programme needs to be put in place so that in future the nation would not come across energy crisis again.
Asked how long it would have taken the NDC to solve the energy crisis if it were in power, he said it would have taken a very short time because of the good relationship it had with the private investors as a result of the policy of the Independent Power Producers (IPP).
"We would have been able to have more investors to come in and solve this problem."
Source: The Daily Dispatch