VRA urged to increase contribution to resettlement fund

BY: Kester Aburam Korankye
Dr Mohammed Amin Adam —  A Deputy Minister of Energy
Dr Mohammed Amin Adam — A Deputy Minister of Energy

A Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, has urged the Volta River Authority (VRA) to increase the annual contribution to its resettlement trust fund to help meet the growing development needs of beneficiary communities.

He said the fund was established to improve the quality of life of people in the 52 resettler communities, adding: "This is technically not a corporate social responsibility (CSR); you have a moral responsibility to do that and, therefore, you may have to review the annual contribution you make.”

The VRA Resettlement Trust Fund was set up by a Trust Deed promulgated on July 22, 1996, the main principals being the VRA and the then Ministry of Mines and Energy.

Per the agreement, the VRA is to contribute the Ghana cedi equivalent of $500,000 annually to the trust fund.
Dr Adam was speaking at the VRA's 11th stakeholders’ interface programme in Accra yesterday.

Commendation

He lauded the management of the authority for its remarkable performance in 2020, in spite of the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the time of COVID-19 when businesses were ailing, with some collapsing or laying off workers, you ended up with your best performance,” he said.

According to him, it was the first time the entity had posted profit after six years of continuous losses.

“Today, we are seeing a tremendous improvement in our financial and operational performance due to your decisions, sacrifices and programmes in the last four years,” the minister added.

He assured the management and staff of the authority of the continuous support of the government to enable them to achieve their corporate objectives.

Dr Adam further urged them to provide leadership towards the adoption of clean energy in the country.

“You serve as a benchmark in the sector and you must continue to do so, else we will never be able to tell the average from the extreme. You have played a key role in providing competitive priced power and I expect that you will continue to do so as you support local industries to be competitive in their cost of production,” he added.

Global standards

The Board Chairman of the VRA, Mr Kofi Tutu Agyare, said the growth of VRA's operations was guided by the adoption of globally accepted standards focused on making a positive impact on stakeholders and the economy.

He said over the period, the VRA had navigated the uncertain energy sector landscape through the accelerated implementation of technological work solutions.

"We will diversify our portfolio and provide reliable and competitively priced electricity to support national development,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the VRA, Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the authority would continue to pursue renewable energy to help reduce its carbon footprint, adding that the VRA would keep diversifying its energy generation mix with significant investment in solar power.

The Director-General of the State Interest and Governance Authority ( SIGA), Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, also said in a separate interview that SIGA would provide the needed guidance for state institutions to perform to meet the objectives of the government.