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03.03.2005 General News

Nduom defends restructuring of VRA

By GNA

Accra, March 3, GNA- Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Minister Designate for Public Sector Reforms, on Wednesday said governments intention to streamline the operations of the Volta River Authority (VRA) is aimed at injecting efficiency into the energy sector.

He said the separation of hydro operations from thermal power was necessary since the expertise needed for thermal power generation is different from that of hydro.

"It will create technical, financial and managerial efficiency, which will lead to a serious concentration on each sector." Dr Nduom made these remarks when he appeared before Appointments Committee of Parliament.

He said the Aboadze Thermal Plant had been producing at a very low capacity hence the need for the plant to have separate administration to enable it concentrate on how best to improve its capacity and efficiency.

"This will also help in the capitalisation of the new Electricity Company of Ghana after the separation."

Asked how he intends to improve the public sector, Dr Nduom said the public sector was very important for the nation.

"I intend to revamp the sector by providing the necessary tools needed by the public servants and also motivate them by improving upon their wages and the necessary infrastructural development."

"I will also listen to their grievances as well as consult the relevant ministries and departments to see how best to go about the reforms."

Dr Nduom said he would also improve the relationship between the executive and the civil servants by urging them to coordinate and cooperate effectively.

"The system has failed to equip the public sector and I will be addressing these issues."

Asked how he intends to do his work as a member of the Convention People's Party (CPP) working with the ruling New Patriotic Party, which has a different policy from the CPP, Dr Nduom said the question is not a matter of party affiliations but rather, "how to better the living conditions of the people irrespective of one's political background".

He said collaborations between parties was nothing new and that most times after elections parties collaborate for the service of the nation, but they go their different ways when its time for elections.

"For your information the CPP is very vibrant in my Constituency and we were able to achieve our aim of wresting the seat from the NDC. I hope with a little effort the CPP will rise again."

Ms Elizabeth Ohene, a Minister of State designate for Tertiary Education did not agree to a suggestion that three Deputy Ministers appointed for the Ministry was too much.

"There is so much work to be done," she replied, adding, "There will be no struggling for space or mix-ups in our work since we will all work as team and...we know our areas of operations." She said she could not claim credit for the work she did at the Ministry since she worked with a team and that the credit should go to every body involved.

Ms Ohene said as sector ministers they tasked themselves to provide quality education and infrastructural development, which is being pursued vigorously.

"We also played a role in the student's loan draft, which is currently in Parliament waiting to be passed."

She said there is the need to integrate civil education into our educational syllabus as well as educating the public on their civil responsibilities.

Ms Ohene said it was the plans of the Ministry to rehabilitate and put to good use the Adult Education Institute at Tsito in the Volta Region, which is in her Constituency.

Asked whether she is still a member of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Ms Ohene said she has not paid her dues since 1982 and also does not involve in the functions of the GJA and so she cannot claim to be a member of the Association.

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