The Ranking Member of Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy who doubles as the Minority Spokesperson on Energy, Adam Mutawakilu has accused the government of pilling huge energy debt in less than three years.
Addressing Journalists in Parliament, The MP said, the President of the land must explain to Ghanaians “how come being the luckiest government in our nation’s history by the following data on oil revenue:-
2016 – Gh¢972million
2017 – Gh¢2.3billion
2018 – Gh¢4.5billion; and yet his government has only colossal debt to show”.
According to him, the National Democratic Congress, (NDC), Caucus in Parliament expects President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to take responsibility and address the liquidity and operational challenges in the country’s energy sector instead of carrying on with “his nauseating blame game”.
The President must show clearly how he intends to revive entities like the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), and the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST); which were fully operational when former President John Dramani Mahama handed-over to him in January 2017, he threw a challenge to government.
The press conference titled: “A CALL ON THE PRESIDENT TO REFRAIN FROM MISLEADING GHANAIANS ON ENERGY SECTOR DEBT”
The Minority Caucus in Parliament has become very alarmed at the ever rising and crippling debt in the energy sector, over which President Akufo-Addo has failed to level up with the people of Ghana.
At various fora, the President has sought to mislead the public about the exact state of affairs in the sector”.
He mentioned that, The President has “often made inaccurate claims about the debt in the energy sector in a bid to conceal the true state of affairs .One of these inaccurate claims was his recent visit to Toronto, Canada where he said that “his government inherited a $5.2 billion debt in Ghana’s energy sector from the previous Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, half of which has been paid, while the remainder hanged on the neck of his administration like an albatross.”
President Akufo-Addo added that “the situations responsible for the constant power outages Ghanaians were forced to endure, were from the previous Mahama-led administration.”
Mr. Mutawakilu in his respond stressed that, The Minority does not only find these statements as inaccurate but also an attempt by the President to shirk responsibility for the incompetence he has displayed in the management of the country’s energy sector which remains a backbone to the Ghanaian economy.
According to their facts sheet, President peddled ‘falsehood’ with respect to what has come to be called Legacy Debts, when he addressed a town hall meeting of Ghanaian residents in Toronto, Canada.
“In February 2017 when President Akufo-Addo delivered the State of the Nation Address (SoNA) to Parliament, he disclosed that “the power sector debt stood at $2.4 billion at end 2016”
Also, in June 2017 when the President addressed the opening of the 2017 World Bank Development Finance Forum in Accra, he disclosed that government would soon issue a $2.5 billion bond to offset the Legacy Debt of the energy sector in order to create space for increased investment.
Today, the Minority Caucus is unable to accept the President’s claim of $5.2 billion energy sector debt created by former President Mahama during his tenure”.
The Minority further stated that, “the following facts, for purposes of setting the records straight:
The Legacy Debt of approximately $2.4 billion is a debt accumulated by successive governments between the years 1992 and 2015; $250 million out of the $2.4 billion was paid to Banks by the Mahama-led government in 2016 to ease the liquidity crunch; As at the end of 2016, the energy sector debt was approximately $2.2 billion;
At the exit of President John Dramani Mahama, the $2.2 billion amount was certified and agreed to be settled within 3 – 5 years starting from 2016, with the passage of Energy Sector Levies Act 2015, Act 899 (ESLA); There was a Term-sheet of $600 million to pay-off suppliers, but this was delayed by President Akufo-Addo for more than a year”.
Story by Edzorna Francis Mensah