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14.06.2007 General News

Blame VRA for energy crisis – Addah

By myjoyonline

The Minister of Energy, Mr Kofi Addah has blamed the current energy crisis on experts at the Volta River Authority (VRA).

Speaking on Joy FM's Super Morning Show on Thursday, Mr. Addah said the country could have been spared the crisis if the experts had adequately advised government on the energy situation.

The studio appearance followed the failed attempt by the minority to hold a debate on the crisis in Parliament on Wednesday.

Recounting how the country found itself in the current crisis, Mr Addah took a swipe at experts and technicians at the VRA. He said the experts failed to give basic information on the state of the sector including the water situation in the Akosombo Dam till the country was hit by the crisis.

“One expected that there would be a research division at the VRA that should be constantly monitoring the cloud, liaise with the meteorological services…and advice us for us to do some serious forward planning in a manner that will help us prevent this type of situation,” he said.

Mr Addah said clear instances of saboteur activities can be read into some decisions taken by the experts at VRA. He cited an instance in the provision of the 80 mega watts power plant being brought in by mining companies in the country.

“We do have in our calculations 80 Megawatts of power that is supposed to be determined from a Consortium of four mines. These mining companies have gone out to procure a plant to come and pay for the installation, pay for the commissioning and …maintain the system for one full year and to train VRA people. What did we get from VRA? They come back and say that no don't buy that plant go and buy the one we are used to operating…that day we really got mad,” he noted.

Asked why he has not sacked people if they were not delivering results, the minister said that decision will be taken later but at the moment that would not be necessary.

“Firing them does not immediately solve the problem. We are in an uncomfortable situation, we won't to solve the problem, we need all hands on deck. Why should we go about firing people when that would not solve the problem,” he queried.

The President has appointed four ministers so far to manage the Energy Ministry in the six year rule of the NPP. Mr. Addah agrees that the short span of ministers has also affected the implementation of clear programs to deal with the energy needs of the country.

He said it will be unfair for anyone to call for his resignation especially since his initiatives on resolving the crisis should end the crisis by September.

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