Lack Of Transparency Blurs SOE Performance-World Bank

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Yusupha Crookes, Country Manager

The World Bank has noted that the frequent power outage could negatively affect the country?s economy.

In a report launched yesterday in Accra dubbed, ?Energizing Economic Growth in Ghana,? the World Bank said government must help the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to improve its technical and commercial performance.

It said some of the challenges facing Ghana?s power and petroleum sub-sectors undermine the country?s bid to become a full-fledged middle-income country.

Yusupa Crookes, World Bank Country Director, in a remark, said the report was prepared by a team of World Bank staff who noted that Ghana?s economy had become dependent on reliable electricity and fuel supply.

?Government policies and decisions have delayed investments in gas supply and power generation, which are the root of the current power shortages. While the blackouts are partly due to the unexpected interruption of imported gas supplies, a deeper look reveals a broader problem of a power sector without a cushion to absorb external shocks.?

Mr Crookes stressed that Ghana has not been able to attract substantial private investment because of low credit worthiness of the utilities, adding that private projects such as the Sunon-Asogli Plant are idle due to the lack of gas.

He further said the lack of accountability had resulted in the under-performance of several state-owned energy enterprises.

He indicated that energy providers do not collect adequate revenue from users.

?It is about the ordinary self-employed dress maker or barber, who is now struggling to keep the business going,? he said.

He, however, indicated that a number of recommendations were made in the report to review existing structures and improve planning and restructuring of key sector utilities to help boost private sector investment.

Source-Daily Guide

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