The ominous clouds of ‘dumsor’, the term Ghanaians use to describe erratic power outages, continue to loom over the nation as the Institute for Energy Security (IES) predicts a prolonged spell of darkness. Nana Amoasi VII, the Executive Director of IES, has sounded the alarm, revealing that the recent power outages are not merely a transient inconvenience but a symptom of deeper financial challenges within the energy sector.
In a candid interview, Nana Amoasi VII unveiled the root cause of the persistent ‘dumsor’ gripping the nation. The crux of the matter, according to the IES executive, lies in the government’s failure to settle outstanding debts with crucial players in the energy sector, including the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo). This financial debacle, he asserted, has triggered a domino effect, resulting in the current disarray in the provision of electricity.
The heart of the matter lies in the scarcity of natural gas, the fuel required to power the electricity plants.
“The generation bits are having that challenge. It’s not like the plants are not ready to work; they are ready to work, but no fuel. This time we are talking about natural gas, which is to be fed into the plants to get them running and put the power on the bridge for us to get in our various homes and businesses.”Nana Amoasi VII
The situation is particularly dire in the western corridor, where all power plants are operational, but the bottleneck arises when attempting to transport natural gas from the western corridor to the eastern corridor. The West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo), the primary transporter of natural gas, has opted to cease the movement of gas, exacerbating the energy crisis.
“All the power plants in the western corridor are working, but to move that natural gas from the western corridor to the eastern corridor has been a challenge because the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo), being the transporter or transmitter of the natural gas, has chosen not to move the gas. WAPCo has shut down its gas.”Nana Amoasi VII
The dire prediction extends beyond the immediate future, as Nana Amoasi VII highlighted the precarious situation if the government fails to secure funds to settle outstanding debts within the electricity sector.
“Until we position ourselves to generate enough revenue in the sector to pay all the players, at one moment you’ll find that WAPCo will open the gas, but then other plants will also choose to shut down because the government owns them.”Nana Amoasi VII
The ripple effect of the financial crisis in the energy sector is evident in the day-to-day lives of Ghanaians. Homes and businesses are grappling with sporadic power outages, disrupting daily routines and economic activities. The reliability of electricity, a fundamental necessity for any thriving economy, is under severe strain, casting a shadow over Ghana’s developmental aspirations.
The government now faces the urgent task of mobilizing resources to settle outstanding debts and stabilize the energy sector. Failure to do so not only threatens to plunge the nation into prolonged darkness but also poses a significant hurdle to the country’s economic recovery and growth. The persistence of the ‘dumsor’ crisis serves as a stark reminder that the financial health of the energy sector is intrinsically linked to the well-being of the nation. As Ghanaians brace themselves for uncertain times ahead, the pressing question remains: will the government take swift action to illuminate the nation, or will ‘dumsor’ cast a long and dark shadow over Ghana’s future?