Ghana: Energy issues, politics, messy branding of buses reported in Ghana

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – The media in Ghana this week reported on energy issues, as the self-imposed deadline of 31 December by the Minister of Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor, to end the debilitating crisis that has disrupted industrial, economic and social activity draws near. The power challenge is also a huge political subject.

The media also reported on the messy branding of 116 intra-city buses that has cost Transport minister Dzifa Attivor her job, and the special congress of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

“Power minister sets January deadline to end load shedding” was the headline of the state-owned Graphic newspaper which reported that Dr Kwabena, has said barring any unforeseen difficulties, the power crisis will end by the second week of January, 2016.

“We have put in measures to end the power crisis by the end of the year. The New Year promise is still on,” he said.
“Certainly by the second week in January next year, and barring any unforeseen source of difficulty, the problem not (be there),” Dr Donkor told the Parliamentary Select Committee on Government Assurances on Wednesday.

He said that although measures had been put in place to ensure that the power crisis was brought to an end by 31 December, the nation needed not to lose sight of the fact that even after the problem had been dealt with the power plants could develop faults which could lead to significant loss of energy. There is also the important subject of money to fuel the thermal plants and realistic tariffs.

In March this year the minister vowed to work towards ending the load shedding before the end of December and promised to resign if he failed to achieve that objective.

The state-owned Ghanaian Times had the headline, “Minister stands by promise, but...”

It reported that the Power minister was still holding on to his promise that the nationwide power crisis would be over by the end of this year.

However, he threw in a caveat that the end of the year could move to about two weeks into the New Year, explaining that “normally, in project management, you need to have some allowance to make room for possible slippage”.

As at Wednesday, the deficit in power production was about 300 MW but more generation units were on the verge of going into full production.

The headline of the Graphic on the resignation of the Minister of Transport, who took responsibility for the inflation of the cost of branding of buses of the state owned Metro Mass Transit company, read: “Dzifa Attivor resigns over branded buses.”

The Ghanaian Times in its story with the headline “Transport minister resigns” reported that Mrs Attivor resigned over the branding of the buses said to have cost the country about 3.6 million Ghana cedis. (US$1=3.9 Ghana cedis).
The president has accepted her resignation.

The chief of staff, Julius Debrah, has asked the Attorney-General to recover 1.9 million Ghana cedis from the company which carried out the work.

The Chief of Staff last week requested the Attorney General to conduct an urgent review of the contract following concerns raised about the cost of the spraying and branding exercise.

In her report submitted on Tuesday, the Attorney General, Mrs. Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, found that there were no cost comparisons to what was submitted by Smartty’s Management because of the method of procurement and the procedures used.

On politics, the Graphic in a story with the headline, “I can work with everybody – Akufo-Addo declares” reported that the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, had stated that he could work with everybody in the party who shared its vision to recapture power during the 2016 general election.

“I reject the refrain that there are people in the party that I cannot work with. I do not expect that anything I say will go unchallenged since as a politician and lawyer, I thrive on healthy and vigorous debate to arrive at a consensus,” he said at the 15th extraordinary annual delegates’ conference of the party held in Sunyani, Brong Ahafo Region.

It has been widely reported that three key officers of the party – Paul Afoko (Chairman), Kwabena Agyepong (General Secretary) and Sammy Crabbe (2nd National Vice Chairman) have been suspended because they do not belong to the Akufo-Addo camp of the party and were suspended after a plot.

“We have ended this year with three of our national officers being suspended. It has been a traumatic experience for me. I am aware of the heartache that our supporters have gone through,” Akufo-Addo said.

He added that the party’s campaign towards the 2016 general election would be decentralised to give the polling stations and the constituencies enough impetus to be at the forefront.

The Ghanaian Times reporting the event under the headline “NPP outdoors campaign team,” said Nana Akufo-Addo outdoored the party's campaign team for the 2016 general election.

He said the office of the presidential candidate would be responsible for monitoring and compliance to achieve target whilst the campaign advisory committee would be chaired by former president John Kufuor.

“Stop peddling lies about our party – Omane Boamah to Akufo-Addo,” was the headline of the Graphic after the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) accused Nana Akufo-Addo of deliberately peddling falsehood.

The newspaper reported that the Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane Boamah has admonished Nana Akufo-Addo to concentrate on rebuilding his party and stop peddling falsehood about the government.

According to him, the NPP has adopted a campaign strategy to discredit government’s efforts at improving infrastructure and tackle corruption by spreading malicious falsehood about the government.

Dr Omane Boamah’s comments followed statements made by Nana Akufo-Addo that the government had in the name of infrastructure development, enriched themselves by bloating the costs of projects such as classrooms, hospitals and roads.

In a response, the Minister of Communications advised Nana Akufo-Addo “to stop embarrassing himself” and provide evidence to his claims.

According to Dr Omane Boamah, the performance of the NDC government was unquestionable and could not be effaced by falsehoods.

“A few months ago, he peddled a blatant and deliberately packaged lie that government spent an amount of US$10 million to print presidential diaries. We are still waiting for his evidence to support the falsehood, which he peddled on an international platform.

“Before then, Mr. Akufo-Addo had also made false and uninformed claims about the cost of the Kasoa Interchange Project without recourse to any evidence. In fact, it took a member of his own party to point out to him that his claim was unjustifiable.

“The exposure of these claims to be untrue brought considerable embarrassment to Mr. Akufo- Addo and we were of the view that he would draw useful lessons from these and refrain from such reprehensible conduct.

“It would appear, however, that he is determined to press ahead with this ignominious role as the ‘Peddler-In-Chief’ of lies and concocted stories about Government,” Dr Omane Boamah said
-0- PANA MA 26Dec2015

26 december 2015 05:40:59

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