Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday said Ghana would save 300 million dollars annually upon the successful completion of the reverse flow of natural gas from the Aboadze Power enclave to Tema for power generation.
The move, he said, would make the country self-sufficient in using gas for electricity generation and minimise the importation of natural gas from Nigeria.
“Ghana has enough gas to power all her power plants without relying on imported gas because gas is much cheaper than liquid fuel, hence a policy decision has been taken to switch-over to gas in energy generation,” he said.
Vice President Dr. Bawumia announced this when he delivered the keynote address at the maiden Town Hall Meeting by the Economic Management Team (EMT) at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, in Accra, on Wednesday.
He said the country currently paid 24 million dollars a month in excess capacity charges for power generated and not being used, which would shore up to 41 million dollars later this year.
The meeting was held on the theme: ”Our Progress, Our Status, Our Future,” to update the public on gains made, so far, and efforts to sustain them to engender economic growth and development.
The meeting attracted representatives of civil society organisations, academia, traders, importers, freight forwarders and members of the public to interact with the EMT members and asked questions on a wide range of issues pertaining to the economy.
Vice President Dr. Bawumia said the first phase of the switch-over of liquid fuel to gas would be completed this month, which would ensure evacuation of 60 million standard cubic feet of gas from the Western Region to Tema Power enclave, while the Phase Two would be completed by July or August, this year.
Commenting on job creation, he said the Government had created 350,000 jobs, excluding employment under Planting for Food and Jobs, since assuming office in 2017.
He said it was also pursuing inclusive transformation governance where everybody would be positively affected including the reduction of the nuisance taxes and other social interventions.
The Vice President said it had been building human capacity through the Free Senior High School Policy, Nation Builders Corps and Planting for Food and Jobs.
“We’re managing the economy better and fulfilling our promises, but as I mentioned earlier, we still have a lot more to do…this has been just two years, and as I have been saying we have laid a solid foundation so support President Akufo-Addo’s government to deliver more,” he added.
The Vice President announced plans to reduce the benchmark values for imports by 50 per cent, except vehicles, which saw 30 per cent reduction effective April 4, in order to reduce the incidents of smuggling.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, answering questions from the public, said the Planting for Food and Jobs programme was yielding positive outcomes with the country exporting 130,000 metric tonnes of food items to neighbouring countries last year.
He said government had begun constructing 80 warehouses, which would be managed by the Buffer Stock Company for food storage, expected to be completed by June or July, this year.