Residents and business operators in the Ashanti Region are calling on the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to provide a load-shedding timetable as the erratic power supply situation continues to worsen, leading to widespread dissatisfaction among Ghanaians.
The recent blackout in the country has prompted concerns and frustrations from citizens who are grappling with the impact of the irregular power supply. Key industry players, including the Institute of Energy Security (IES), have raised alarms, attributing the situation to financial challenges.
Deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, acknowledged the challenges but assured Ghanaians of a 100 percent resolution to the ongoing power crisis.
Hon Mercer explained, “What has happened over the past few days is that some obligation owed by GNPC to WAPCo was an issue. WAPCo threatened, GNPC made some initial payments, but it wasn't satisfactory. We requested the Ministry of Finance to top up. We had to go through some approval processes.”
He added, “As of yesterday [Wednesday] evening, the Ministry of Finance had approved a sum of 10 million to pay for a part of that debt. So that was the hiccup that we encountered that led to the power outages we experienced in the past few days. But that has been resolved.”
Despite the government's assurance, residents in Kumasi, including business operators such as cold store operators, printing press operators, and salon and barber shop operators, expressed how the situation is adversely affecting their businesses.
One business operator stated, “You'll be printing, you'll be working, and then ‘puom' the light goes off, just like that. They don't inform anybody. It is really affecting our businesses. Though we have a backup plant, you will have to buy more fuel, which is expensive.”
These residents and business operators are urging the ECG and the Energy Ministry to provide a clear schedule for the power outage.
They emphasized the importance of communication and having a roster to plan accordingly, stating, “We want communication. We want a roster as scheduled previously so that we will know that today we have light, we can work all day, and tomorrow we don't have light so that we know we can prepare enough fuel to fuel our generators to help when the lights go off.”