Head of Communications and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Energy, Nana Damoah has stated that the cost of electricity reliefs by governments will not affect the country’s energy sector debt.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic that has taken the world by storm, government has had to put measures in place to reduce the spread of the virus.
The introduction of partial lockdowns in parts of the country has made it necessary for government to take some financial burden off Ghanaians.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in his sixth address to the nation on the novel coronavirus on Thursday, April 9, 2020, said that government will fully cover the bills of low-income consumers of electricity and a 50 percent reduction in the cost of same for consumers in other categories in the country for April, May and June 2020.
Minister for Energy John Peter Amewu disclosed at a press conference on Thursday that government will spend a little over GHS1 billion on the electricity relief package for all Ghanaians as announced by the President.
Following the announcement, some experts and stakeholders have said the move will increase government’s already existing debt in the energy sector.
But speaking on Accra based Citi FM, the spokesperson for the Energy Ministry insisted that the current arrangement will not affect the Energy Sector debt explaining that government has funds ready to pay electricity suppliers monthly.
“This will not in any way affect the current position of the energy sector in terms of debt because government, led by the President, made a decision to provide some relief to the people of Ghana in this era of COVID-19. What this means is that this cost or this debt we are about to incur has been planned for by government and government will provide those amounts of money from outside the normal operations of the electricity company of Ghana. So government has said these amounts that have been brought before it are going to be paid on a monthly basis. It, therefore, does not affect the revenue of the ECG in any way. The Ministry of Finance has given the highest assurances that the money has been found and is available to be paid at the end of every month to ensure the continuous operation of all of these.”