The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) may be involved in illegality with their failure to publish a load shedding timetable following recent unannounced power outages in the country, the head of policy and energy policy advisor at the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Dr Ishmael Ackah, has said.
Mr Ackah’s comments come against the backdrop of President John Mahama’s comments, two weeks ago, that he was not going to declare load shedding, which would hark back to the four-year power crisis the country endured, which seemed to have eased with the arrival of two emergency power ships at the beginning of 2016.
Critics have asked the government to be upfront with Ghanaians and admit the problem had returned, despite presidential and parliamentary elections coming up later in December.
But speaking on Accra News Monday July 25, Dr Ackah said Section 6 of L.I. 1935 of Ghana’s constitution mandated ECG to issue a “public notice” for power rationing if a situation, other than that occasioned by damaged equipment or accident, led to an erratic power supply.
“So, it is necessary not only because Ghanaians are calling for it; it is the law,” he told Abena Korantemaa Agyapong, adding that he found it “unfortunate” that no one was raising issues about the continued violation of that requirement.
“Whether we are in an election year or not, we do not need anyone declaring ‘dumsor’ (erratic power supply). ‘Dumsor’ is not war.”
He said with a ‘dumsor’ timetable, people could “plan their lives” instead of having to live with iffy electrical supply.
Dr Ackah wondered why after several weeks of irregular power supply in the country by ECG, the PURC had remained silent though the law empowered it, as the utility regulator, to fine ECG and deposit the amount in the Renewable Energy Fund.
“But all that is not being followed. It is an unfortunate situation,” he observed.