In spite of the power crisis, NDC Campaign Coordinator Kofi Adams says President John Mahama deserves to be re-elected because government’s investment in the power sector is unmatched.
Kofi Adams says if the NPP under President Kufuor had made the kind of investment that President Mahama has made, the power crisis would not have returned in 2012.
“If government had not done a lot that it has done in this short time, the situation would have been worse. If this government had continued behaving in the very same way that the previous government were behaving …we would have been in a worse situation”, Mr. Adams noted.
The governing NDC has sounded the 2016 campaign charge after the campaign spokesperson Joyce Bawa Mogtari revealed the party will launch its campaign next Sunday.
At a press conference in Accra Monday, she dismissed the likely impact the return of the energy crisis will have on the chances of the President’s re-election bid. She claimed that Ghana has the largest access to power in the whole of the West African sub-region.
According to her, President John Mahama is the best option for Ghanaians as the 2016 general elections on December 7 approaches.
Touting the NDC record further, Kofi Adams said Mahama has dealt with the power crisis more comprehensively than any other government.
He said the NPP government should have known that investment in thermal energy was the way to go when the recurrent power crisis hit in 2007. Although the NPP commissioned the126MW Tema Thermal 1 Power Plant in 2008, Kofi Adams insisted that a hydroelectric approach seen in the building of the Bui dam was not a good investment.
The NPP administration began the construction of the main part of the 400MW Bui dam in 2008. The dam valued at US$622 million was financed by the government of Ghana’s own resources (US$60m) and two credits by the Chinese: a concessional loan of US$270 million at 2% interest and a commercial loan of US$292 million.
According to Mr Adams, President John Kufuor’s decision to build Bui dam was not far-sighted enough because Ghana’s second largest hydroelectric generating dam has been consigned to the less than role of a back-up generator.
The fortunes of the main dam, Akosombo has dwindled. Despite an installed capacity of 1,020 MW, changing climatic patterns is affecting the water level needed to produce power.
Unlike the NPP administration, John Mahama has brought on two thermal power barges – 225 from Karpower with an expected 225 more by September, Kofi Adams said.
Africa & Middle East Resource Investment (AMERI) power plant which generates 250 megawatt was added last year.
He said the NDC government has built a huge gas process plant at Atuabo in the Western region to harness gas from oil fields to feed thermal plants in the Aboadze enclave.
Reacting to Kofi Adams, the NP Communications Director Nana Akomea noted that no government has suffered four years of an energy crisis.
“Which government in this country has had the people of this country endure four years of dumsor?”, he pointed out.
Under the NPP, the crisis ended after a year, he said. Nana Akomea noted that the fact that the power crisis re-emerged four years after the exit of the NPP government proves that the NDC lived off the investments made by the previous government.
He blamed the power crisis on the failure of the Mahama government to add on to the national grid until a crisis hit.
Many small-scale businesses have suffered the most with workers laid off, he said. Nana Akomea said President John Mahama has made not less than 18 pledges to solve the crisis.
“I don’t even see how they can even talk about the power sector?…as we speak Ghanaians are still in power crisis. How can anybody talk about achievement in power crisis?”.
He reminded Kofi Adams that oil was discovered under NPP as a result of government commitment to the energy sector. Once again, he said, the NDC has made inroads in adding gas processing plant because of the NPP’s achievements.
The West African Gas Pipeline from Nigeria which powers thermal plants in Tema in the Greater Accra region was as a result of the NPP’s investment.According to Nana Akomea, the NPP procured a $650m loan which the NDC has used to expand electricity in Ghana.
Nana Akomea said President Mahama may be the best candidate for the NDC but he cannot be the best candidate for Ghana.