Halt US$8 million weekly power distribution losses – USA charges Ghana

Friday 7th September, 2018
Millennium Development Authority (MiDA)01

By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Accra, Sept. 7, GNA - The United States Government has charged managers of Ghana’s power sector to tap into private know-how and investment to minimise the current estimated eight million dollar distribution losses of power a week.

The US also urged the managers to ensure reliable and efficient supply of electricity to consumers.

It tasked the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) and the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) as well as other key agencies to continue collaboration in order to meet the objectives of the Ghana Power Compact II.

Mr Christopher Lamora, Chargé d' Affaires and Acting US Ambassador to Ghana, made the call at the commemoration of the second anniversary of the Ghana Power Compact II Entry-Into-Force and launch of Compact II Documentary in Accra.

He noted that for the future of Ghana and Africa to be guaranteed, it depended largely on reliable energy and, thus, assured of the US Government’s commitment to be a reliable partner for the power sector development.

Mr Lamora said: “As we implement the largest US government transaction under Power Africa, our focus is no longer on power generation, but rather on reliability, access and affordability-pillars of investment and economic growth”.

The US Government has signed two power compacts with Ghana with a combined value of over one billion dollars over the past decade.

The first compact was worth US$547 million administered from 2007 to 2012, which focused on agricultural transformation (agribusiness), while the second Power Compact totalled US$498.2 million, aimed at improving infrastructure in the power sector in Ghana running from 2016 to 2021.

The Compact II was signed in August 5, 2014, between the Ghana Government and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the United States.

It became operational on September 6, 2016, after Ghana had met all the requisite conditions prior to accessing the first tranche of funds under the US$498.2 million grant agreement.

The Compact sought to increase private sector investment and productivity, profitability of micro, small, medium and large scale businesses and improve power reliability and availability, as well as increase employment opportunities for Ghanaians and raise earning potential from self-employment and improved social outcomes.

She acknowledged the contribution of some key stakeholders that helped the nation to meet critical conditions outlined in the compact, including the Electricity Company of Ghana, Northern Electricity Distribution Company, Public Utility Regulatory Commission, Energy Commission, Ghana Standard Authority, Ministry of Energy, Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General.

She noted that the projects under the compact were carefully selected to ensure maximum impact for delivery of power to the ordinary Ghanaian, induce economic growth and strengthen the economy, as well as reduce poverty among the populace and enhance productivity.

Prof. Ntiamoa-Baidu assured that the Authority would continue to work collaboratively with the various stakeholders in the power sector in achieving the Compact deliverables.

Mr John Peter Amewu, the Energy Minister, in an address, pledged Government’s unflinching support to MiDA and other implementing agencies to realise the objectives of the Compact.

He acknowledged the significance of energy to economic growth, noting that, for any nation to achieve its industrialisation drive it would have to depend on reliable electricity.

Mr Amewu lauded the board and management of MiDA and other implementing agencies for helping the nation to achieve the milestone of the Compact.

The commemoration of the second anniversary also marked the deadline for the nation meeting a number of critical conditions in the Compact and Ghana’s eligibility to access the remainder of US$190 million being tranche two disbursements of the US$498.2 million Compact grant funds.

It brought together key stakeholders in the energy sector, including the board of directors and management members of MiDA, implementing agencies and officials from the MCC.

The Communication and Outreach Unit of MiDA premiered a 25-minute documentary entitled: ‘‘The Power Compact; for a brighter Ghana’’ aimed at ensuring greater public awareness and understanding about the compact programme.

GNA