Accra, April 17, GNA - Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia on Monday said the Government has taken a bold decision in the energy sector that had saved the country $ 300 million dollars by reviewing and prioritising existing Power Purchase Agreements.
He said it had cancelled about 20 of such agreements, while four had been asked to continue while the rest would be delayed by two or four years, which had reduced government liability.
Dr Bawumia, who disclosed this at a Town Hall Meeting, in Accra, said the government had secured funding for two power projects.
He said it had taken power purchase policy that would ensure that, anyone or company that wanted to undertake power production in Ghana would not charge more than 10 Cent per kilowatt/hour of power.
This was due to the fact that Ghana was paying the highest electricity tariff in the West African Sub-region.
“In other countries they are charging 10 Cent but they are charging us 17 and 21 Cent as far as I know,” Dr Bawumia said.
To increase the efficiency of the Volta River Authority, he said, the government had taken a decision to separate the VRA’s thermal operation from its hydro.
He said the government wanted to stop reliance on thermal to renewal energy.
He said it had taken a decision to ensure that all government buildings including hospitals, schools and other public institutions use solar energy to cut cost.
Government’s quest to clamp down on illegal small-scale mining, otherwise known as galamsey had been boosted with the suspension of licenses to small scale miners in order to restructure the sector, he said.
Vice President Bawumia said a stimulus package would be provided to viable but distressed Ghanaian companies in the country and that GH¢120 million had been allocated for that purpose.
He said the government had successfully resolved a dispute involving a steel company that was closed down in October 2016 due to tariff issues and had saved about 400 jobs from being lost.
He said the government realised that a number of international airlines such as AirItalia, Lufthansa, 540, Virgin Atlantic, Air Namibia and others that were operating in the country folded up, therefore, it had created a conducive environment for airlines so that Ghana would become a destination of choice in the West African Sub-region.
He noted that Air-France had re-commenced business in Ghana after decades of absence and that more airliners would soon establish offices in the country as the country opened up its aviation industry.
He said government’s quest to issue national identification cards this year had begun and that a technical report had been submitted.
In addition, he said, a digital property addressing system would be completed this year to enhance businesses.