President John Dramani Mahama Wednesday told the Ghanaian community in Germany that he had been nicknamed ‘Mr Dumsor’ in Ghana as a result of the current power crisis a.k.a ‘Dumsor Dumsor’, eliciting laughter from the crowd.
Taking responsibility for the inability of power authorities to supply Ghanaians with regular electricity, the President said the government was working hard to improve the situation.
He said agreements had been signed with various companies “to put in as much generation as possible to be able to achieve the 5,000 megawatts in the period that we have set for ourselves so that for the next ten years or so we can be sure we have enough generation not only to feed Ghana’s demand but also to be able to export to our neighbours who don’t have.”
President Mahama attributed the current challenge to the failure of Nigeria to supply Ghana with an agreed quantity of gas through the West Africa Gas Pipeline to power Ghana’s thermal plants.
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He said Ghana was therefore working towards self-sufficiency in gas supply with the setting up of the Atuabo Gas Plant and the development of others gas fields, including ‘Sankofa’ and 'Tain'.
The Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) is currently shedding between 400megawatts and 600megawatts of electricity because there is no gas to power some of the country’s thermal plants.
The President said the low water level in the Akosombo Dam, which has led to the loss of two generation units, had also contributed to the crisis.
He said: “Two units are shut down because if we run the six units the lake will go beyond the minimum level and we will have to shut down the whole of Akosombo so better to conserve the water and these are all the factors that have resulted in the dumsor.
“Unfortunately, the range this year has not been good so the lake level has also dropped and so as I speak today we are using only four units of Akosombo.”
President Mahama is in Germany for a state visit, and has held discussions with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and President, Mr Joachim Gauck, in Berlin.
With him are Education Minister Professor, Naana Opoku Agyeman, Minister of Communications, Dr. Omane Boamah, Foreign Affairs Minister, Hannah Tetteh, the governing National Democratic Congress’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, former Sports Minister Akua Sena Dansoa and others.
Germany has agreed to help Ghana solve her power challenges.