We are not out of ‘dumsor’ yet – John Mahama
President John Dramani Mahama has admitted that the country was not out of its power crisis woods yet but indicated the situation was better than it used to.
He said the crisis appeared to have been prolonged by the non-supply of gas from neighbouring Nigeria to feed thermal plants as a result of sabotage which has led to the shutdown of the Asogli power plant.
The president told the Council of Christian Churches in Kumasi on Thursday that the high cost of running thermal power has accounted for the recent increase in electricity tariffs but expressed hope that per his directive, the tariffs would be beginning July 1, 2016.
President Mahama, who was on his final leg accounting to the people’s tour of the Ashanti region, expressed the hope that there would be more rains to increase the water levels of the Akosombo dam to improve hydropower to augment thermal production.
Currently, Akosombo was operating below its minimum capacity of 240 feet, but President Mahama was optimistic the situation will improve.
He touched on three key areas at the breakfast meeting with the clergy – power, stabilisation of the economy and infrastructure.
He indicated that Ghana was not an island but operated within the global village, and it was important that its challenges and successes were analysed within the context of the current uncertainty and unpredictable world.
President Mahama said his administration has put in place structural reforms aimed at bringing down expenditure and help stabilise the economy.
Currently, government spends about 73 percent of taxes on salaries and other emoluments, which was negatively destabilising the economy.
President Mahama indicated per the reforms government has been able to lower the expenditure Level from 73 per cent to 49 per cent by was still work in hard to bring it further down to the required 35 percent.
He said the reforms accounted for the removal of subsidy on fuel and some essential commodities else the economy could be destabilised.
The president said the various stringent measures were to put Ghana on a sound footing to achieve its estimated 8 per cent growth rate by 2017.
The president took a swipe at the media for trumpeting only the negative and gloomy developments of the country as though there was no hope for Ghana.
Much as he would not want to gag the media, the president suggested that it would be fair to place the issues side by side to present a balanced reportage to help the people to make informed decisions.
He said rather than inviting representatives of political parties to comment on every issue; it would be prudent and beneficial to invite experts to speak on issues.
The president urged the clergy to help balance the physical and spiritual and use their pulpit to explain government issues.