The exact amount of Ghana’s energy sector debt is becoming a huge political football being played by President Akufo Addo and ex-President John Dramani Mahama, as they accused each other for the ballooning debt.
President Akufo-Addo in Canada on Wednesday claims his administration inherited Gh¢5.2 billion energy debt from the John Mahama led administration saying, half of the debt has been paid off.
However, ex-President Mahama recently told Accra-based Citi FM that the albatross of the energy sector debt has exploded to a whopping Gh¢ 8billion under his current successor.
It is unclear which of the two figures are currently confronting the sector as it has become obvious that the spate of power outages being experienced in the country is due to the government’s inability to settle this debt.
“I’ve learnt my lesson. We are going to make a much better phase of reforming those agreements so that we can take the burden off our shoulders”.
The President, who was addressing a town hall meeting of Ghanaian residents in Toronto, Canada, on Sunday, said the current power outages Ghanaians are forced to endure, were from the previous Mahama-led administration.
But according to Ex-President Mahama, the Akufo Addo administration has added over Gh¢3 billion fresh debt to the energy sector since assuming power in 2017.
Out of this debt, he said the Ghana Grid Management Company (GRIDCo) had racked up a whopping Gh¢500 million.
“They [NPP] has accumulated fresh debt: GRIDCo had made almost 500 million debt they owe to generating companies because they are not generating enough money to pay for the cost of power,” Mr. Mahama stated.
“It was not my fault that there was an energy crisis, it was a leadership problem…I was the commander in Chief, I was responsible I take the blame and I am not going to blame anybody for it. By 2016, lights were stable before I handed over [to the NPP]. Dumsor had been solved, we had solved the problem…,” Mr. Mahama said in the CITI FM interview.
But President Akufo Addo admitted his administration has been lax in tackling the expanding debt in the energy sector “I think if there is one thing I regret about my presidency, it is that we didn’t attack those problems early enough,” he said.
“I’ve learnt my lesson. We are going to make a much better phase of reforming those agreements so that we can take the burden off our shoulders,” the President told his audience in Canada.