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08.02.2013 Politics

President Mahama aggressive to achieve energy for all by 2016 - Buah

By GNA
Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi BuahMr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah
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Accra, Feb. 7, GNA - Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Minister designate for Energy and Petroleum, said President Mahama was aggressive in his policy of energy for all by the year 2016 for a 100 per cent accessibility of electricity in every part of the country.

He said there was a backlog of energy to be connected and that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) still required  about 500,000 meters, especially the use smart meters, to curb consumers from tempering with them.

Mr Buah said if the energy for all programmes was feasible, when given the nod, the ministry would work with the private sector to ensure that this objective was achieved.

Mr Buah was part of four nominees who were vetted by the Appointment Committee. The others are Dr Benjamin Kunbuor, Minister designate for Government Business in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister designate for Trade and Industry,  Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah Oppong, Attorney General and Minister of Justice designate, and Ms Dzifa Ativor, Minister of Transport designate.

Mr Armah said the ECG had come out with a Charter to address challenges the company faced and pledged he would work with the ECG to address customer satisfaction related problems adding that a lot of tracking of power outages must be carried out to know the problem areas.

He said 300 million dollars was devoted for the rural electrification project as energy supply was low, especially in most communities in the northern part of the country.

He said there was an ongoing reform of the ECG with a plan to split the company into four business units which are Volta and Eastern Region, Ashanti Region, Central and Western Region and Northern Region and that the process needed to be sped up.

Mr Buah said he would work with the private sector to mobilise the necessary energy resources, be it renewable, to enable the government to meet its target by 2016.

He noted that attention must be placed on gas and that a gas task force, set up by late President Mills, had made a lot of progress but the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning must be supportive in this drive.

Mr Buah also noted that a policy on de-regulation was still effective but had to be discussed adding that government would look at situations and use subsidy money for development purposes.

On the issue of local content in the area of oil discovery, the minister designate said measures had been put in place to have Ghanaians employed and acquire the requisite skills as real jobs were going to come from jobs associated with the oil industry.

He said the top priority was how to manage the oil revenue to benefit all including future generations.

Mr Buah said he would ensure that the ministry sets up a Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Centre to help businesses to be creative and be competitive in the industry.

GNA

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