We are all witnesses to the fact that power fluctuations has become the order of the day in the city and virtually everybody perhaps excluding the people in charge of the situation, has become a victim by suffering one casualty or another in terms of businesses and electrical appliances not to mentions lives that are lost due to unavailability of power.
In fact the Electricity building a week ago suffered severe power cuts that customers were unable to pay their bills and on a Saturday, they had to close before time. If the power cuts had continued, then I was sure that NPA would have suffered severely.
The Minister of Energy himself confirmed and described the power supply situation as ‘critical’ and nobody needs to mince words about that. As part of his explanations, he opined that the supply of power was “characterized by low level of water in the dam, excessive transmission network constraints and destruction of overhead cables”.
Can you imagine what happens within that five or six days and the constant power cuts around the city? Do we serious as a nation want to develop and improve upon the living conditions of our people in this 21st century? Do we continue to hope that our country will boast as undisputable conducive tourists and investment destination within the West African Sub-Region?
I am certainly not professing to be an energy expert but from my lay man’s perspective, the government alone cannot solve all the energy needs of this country for want of resources which is why a complementary role of the private sector Is an idea in the right direction. The previous administration rightly recognized this fact and went ahead to welcome some Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to generate power to augment and beef up the power supply to the national grid.
Companies working on these projects are seriously on the ground working to improve power generation capacity of this country. I can say with adequate certainty that these IPPs need the support of the Ministry of Energy and for that matter the government to accelerate these power projects to go a long way to make our power supply situation very reliable but support has not been forthcoming. Do we really know that issues like water and power supply are national security issues and without them life is meaningless?
Let us toss our minds back to the energy crisis days before 2007, have anybody been able to quantify the losses in terms of productivity to the nation including human sufferings and opportunity costs of not having power in those periods? Though human beings have short memory I do not think anybody could justify why we should toy with decisions concerning the power supply needs of our dear country.
Nobody should be misled into thinking that currently the nation has enough installed generation capacity of power and even meet reserve requirement of the country. This is basically because there is an adage that says “even the sea, God continues to fall rain into it”. We need more power and have to be proactive.
I think it is evident that the significance of reliable, uninterrupted and adequate supply of power to all sectors of the economy including the households cannot be overemphasized.
This is why I am angry with NPA as well as Energy Ministry because they have been promising us electricity in the Mountain Villages and we are yet to see it. This has been going on for about four years now that we do not have electricity.
The Ministry of Energy must rise up to expectation, stop the talking shops and walk the talk because the country cannot afford to go back to its dark days. In my opinion, it will be irresponsible for us to wait until the whole nation is engulfed in total darkness.
By Austin Thomas