Minister of Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor says it is important to avoid generalizations and to distinguish between types of power outages because he cannot be held responsible for some of them.
Appearing before Parliament’s Committee on Government Assurances, Wednesday December 23, Dr Donkor said load shedding arising out of generation deficit – power rationing due to inadequate production – is what he promised on the floor of the House to work towards ending.
The besieged minister explained to the committee which pursues assurances of ministers, that though there is not enough generation currently, there could still be outages in some areas even if generation is sufficient, because some people cause what he termed localized outage when they attempt to extract copper from underground cables and transformers.
“Four weeks ago, in the Tema community alone, five of our transformers were vandalized because people want to steal copper from power transformers. When that happens, irrespective of the generation available, that particular locality would not have power until ECG or NEDCO either replaces the transformer or repairs them,” Dr Donkor told the committee.
“I am not accountable for the thievery and the vandalism of some Ghanaians and that is why it is important I make that distinction,” he added.
The minister also blamed some of the power outages on non-compliance with procuring building permits, which he said gives utility providers information to project growing demand and the necessary additions to power distribution infrastructure.
This he said, puts pressure on transformers which in turn cut power supply whenever they are overloaded.
“Communities spring up literally overnight, adding to the load of the area and in no time the installed transformer nears capacity. When that happens, in the old days, some of the transformers blow up. These days with the new ones we are introducing, when that happens, they will cut and that area will be thrown into darkness until something is done,” he said.
Some of the committee members were however not impressed with the minister’s explanations.
One member remarked that it is very important for all factors to be considered before giving timelines hence Dr Donkor’s explanations simply amount to shifting the goal posts.
By Emmanuel Odonkor