Government is devising measures to find the requisite funds needed to clear the huge debt the Energy Sector is saddled with.
The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, who made this revelation in Zambia, during his interaction with the Ghanaian community, said the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, is championing this cause. He revealed that government had already initiated programmes and policies that will ensure that the debt is settled.
“The debt of some 2.4 billion dollars in our Energy Sector is making it difficult to attract investment into the Energy sector. This is not allowing us to retool and recapitalize our facilities and therefore once again, solving this financial problem is a very acute problem for us.”
“I have a very imaginative and excellent Finance Minister. He has a problem and I have a problem. He is also my cousin and a lot of people say I have made my cousin the Finance Minister, but I say to myself that if I find someone who has the capability and the ability because he is my cousin I should deny myself the opportunity to work.
I will not think of it that way. He is one of the best Finance Ministers our country will ever have. He is already beginning to show it,” the President told the Ghanaian community.
These measures that the President have hinted of may include government’s decision to issue a 15 year bond to settle the huge debt. This is not the first time the President has spoken about the challenges facing the Energy Sector.
He spoke about it when he appeared before Parliament to deliver his first State of the Nation Address, saying the sector has enormous problems that must be addressed urgently. “We have inherited a heavily indebted energy sector with a net debt reaching $2.4bn as of December 2016.
I have to point out the alarming facts that $800 million of this debt is owed to local banks which threaten their stability and that of the whole financial sector. Indeed, the huge indebtedness of the energy sector constitutes the single major hurdle to Ghanaians enjoying reliable and affordable electricity supply,” Akufo-Addo said.
He indicated that he will introduce a tariff policy in the sector as part of measures to settle the huge debt. The Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, also made mention of the same challenge, saying the sector is cash strapped to run its activities.
“The energy sector we find now is seriously cash-strapped to the extent that we now live in a debt merry go round,” Boakye Agyarko complained.