Former Power Minister in the erstwhile Mahama administration, Dr. Kwabena Donkor has described the World Bank’s comment which claims the cost of power in Ghana has been high in the last 8 years as factually incorrect.
According to him, it is erroneous impression being created by the World Bank Country Director that Ghana has signed so many agreements and also that over the last 8 years the power purchase agreements the previous government signed have had higher tariff, raising the cost of generation in Ghana.
The World Bank has blamed Ghana’s relative high cost of power on the adoption of sole sourcing in the granting of power purchase agreements under the past NDC administration. The Bank has also warned of some economic consequences following the country’s inability to sell off its excess power due to the high cost.
The World Bank was compelled to cut back on its financial support to the private participation in the energy sector upon realizing that the country had signed more agreements than required.
Currently the NPP is reviewing the agreements whilst it is seeking to reduce the cost of power.
Commenting on the World Bank report, Dr. Kwabena Donkor on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show averred it is unfortunate that Ghanaians always accept any document emanating from the World Bank as if it is gospel.
He however grimaced that the World Bank Country Director, Henry Kerali has a responsibility to be factual in all their releases and commentaries about Ghana.
“For example the Country Director alluded to the fact that over 30 power purchase agreements have been signed over the last couple of years and that is factually incorrect. The process of signing a power purchase agreement is only consummated when Parliament approves the agreement,” he fumed.
He elaborated that “the Attorney General in the last administration advised that ECG and even the ministry should only initiate and then submit the negotiated initial document to Cabinet and thus it is only after Cabinet approves that it goes to Parliament; it is only after the approval of Parliament that it becomes a binding agreement on Ghana.”
” . . if ECG has some number of agreements, those agreements are still draft and they are not binding on Ghana to be bundled around as if Ghana has signed 30 agreements, because over the last couple of years Parliament has approved a number of agreements and they are less than 10.”
He vehemently cautioned the World Bank to be careful of their pronouncement; reminding them if ECG initial or signed some agreements, and Cabinet has not yet approved, it cannot be called an agreement.
“I think the World Bank Country director should know better. My other beef with the World Bank has to do with the statement that ‘over the last 8 years’; they were extremely selective in their political framework that the power agreements we have signed had been on the higher side in terms of tariffs.”
“General Asogli Phase 1 was not signed within the last 8 years . . . in 2007 during the similar load shedding emergency the government signed an agreement with a company called Trans-Thermal at 29 cent per kilowatt hour, the highest in the history of thermal generation in Ghana. I will not have a problem with the World Bank if they say that our tariffs are generally higher than our major competitors in the sub-region, which happens to be Nigeria and Ivory Coast; if they said that I would not have any problem but when they go into political picking, specifying that in the last 8 years as if the years preceded that had lower tariffs, it is tantamount to political mischief by the World Bank Country office in my opinion,” he chided.
Former Power Minister pontificated that World Bank has a tendency of praising government when it is in power and immediately the government exits and a new one comes the World Bank condemns or demonizes the government that has just left office.
“It has become a tendency in this country and we think we should call the World Bank to order. If government comes up with a policy and the World Bank has any issue with it, they should say so while in office and not give the impression to the Ghanaian populace that they are working with the government; everything is cushier only for them to turn around to demonize the government when it exits,” he posited.