Monday, April 13, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, April 13, 2015

The new Environment, Science, Technology Mahama Ayariga has added insult to injury by asking Ghanaians to buy generator sets instead of relying on the national grid.

He said on a live radio programme that if Ghanaians were willing to pay more to ensure constant supply of electricity, then they should be willing to buy generator sets.

Some critics said the Minister’s comment showed clearly that the government was not prepared to fix the protracted electricity problem which continues to collapse businesses and industry, render majority of Ghanaians jobless and at the same time scale up the cost of doing businesses.

The electricity crisis popularly called dumsor in local parlance has running for the past three years of the Mahama administration.

The minister is noted for his unguarded utterances and the insults he heaped on journalists - as then Minister of Youth and Sports - for asking for accountability after the Black Stars participation in the Africa Cup of Nations tournament hosted by Equatorial Guinea is still fresh in the minds of many.

Interestingly, many had urged the President to drop the Bawku Central MP completely but the President rather shockingly reshuffled him from the Ministry of Youth Sports to Ministry of Environment Science and Technology.

Contributing to Citi FM’s news analysis programme ‘The Big Issue’, Mahama Ayariga said the perception that Ghanaians were desperate for electricity and will thus pay any amount for constant supply of the commodity could not be true.

“People are not willing to pay high cost of electricity at all cost. If they were willing, the current cost of having electricity is to have a private generator. 

People are not willing to get electricity at all cost so we have to make sure that we supply the commodity to people at a reasonable cost and that is why we must have a collective generation programme…and that is what we are trying to do and it will take time,” he remarked.

Gov’t Freebies
He claimed that he never used a generator set until when his former ministry (Sports) forced him to do so but could not tell who had bought the machine for him.

“I just made it a political point not to (use a generator) because I kept telling people that if I am the Minister and there is a problem and people are sleeping in darkness, the best you can do is also sympathize with them by sleeping in the darkness. So yes, I have lived the problem,” he claimed.

“The official bungalow I was given, there was actually a generator there but I think it broke down and frankly speaking, because I don’t use a generator, I never fixed it.”

“…if you ask the entire neighbourhood, they will tell you that most of the time when the lights were off, in my house too, the lights would be off because I told people that I didn’t feel comfortable. It was actually recently that the Ministry of Sports insisted on sending somebody to go and fix it because sometimes, I need to work at night. So I understand,” he added.

Mahama Ayariga claimed that every member of government ‘regrets the situation’ because “we all know how many businesses cannot function effectively because they have to resort to other energy sources which are more expensive.”

He said the government was working to ensure every Ghanaian will be supplied with electricity at an affordable price but admitted that that dream will take a while to materialize.

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