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12.01.2006 General News

Recent Power Outages Strategic

By Ghanaian Chronicle

Mr. Danny Ofori Atta, the former Vice Presidential candidate of Eagle Party, has boldly stated that the recent power outages in the country forms part a strategy by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to increase electricity tariffs.

"We have realized that it is a trend that the NPP policy makers have adopted to increase tariffs and taxes."

In a telephone interview with the Business Chronicle, the chairman indicated that the NPP government has the style of making people feel that there is scarcity of utility so that they can take the opportunity to increase tariffs.

"Like the blackouts, we believe that they are deliberate. Because from the history of this country from 1979 till now, there have not been any case of total blackout; a total countrywide blackout has never happened," says Mr. Ofori Atta.

According to him, this is the second time this year that there has been a total blackout and alleged that it is a game NPP is playing to get the support of the people for an increase in power tariffs.

Explaining further, he said 'the road show' of the government is to prepare the minds of the people of Ghana towards the increase of tariffs and taxes.

He hinted that the reasons the government always gives that in the sub-stations, all the equipments are obsolete and therefore there is the need for new machines, are just fabrications in order to increase tariffs.

The former Vice Presidential candidate also told the paper that he has realized that the government wants to increase tariffs on electricity.

He accused the government of not creating jobs for the masses who are unemployed this year and therefore do not have the moral right to increase tariffs.

"Create jobs, give people employment, give them dignity, closed factories and companies should be open," he stated. Touching on the reasons given by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Volta River Authority (VRA), he said they rather want him to come out to tell the government to create more employment in the country that will produce transformers.

He said also that expected the CEO to tell the government to put up a plant in Ghana that will produce transformers.

Mr. Ofori-Atta pleaded with the government to produce simple equipment that can be manufactured in the country and can generate employment.

Ghana, he said, needs a factory that can produce cables locally, so the VRA CEO should talk about that before they increase tariffs.

He later urged the government to find a permanent solution to the economic problems of this country rather than just concentrating on increasing taxes and tariffs.