The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has described as ‘painful’ but ‘necessary’ power outages that will begin next month. However, the Authority is clear this is not a revisit of the dreaded ‘dumsor’ that engulfed the country some five years ago. Parts of Accra, Tamale and Kasoa – including major markets and busy business centres – are set to experience power outages MiDA’s CEO, Martin Eson-Benjamin, told members of the inky fraternity at a recently-held soiree in Accra.
The outages will be occasional because MiDA intends to upgrade power stations and revamp its systems, as well replace obsolete transformers and electrical installations, and emplace new ones at 10 selected markets and economic enclaves in Accra, Tamale and some other communities.
Obviously, meanings will be read into the timing of power outages; therefore, MiDA decided to brief members of the media on their intended actions so that the message will be carried forward. However, it is appropriate to be edgy because major markets and business centres will all be affected – and we can guess what this means for productivity. Eson-Benjamin explained that MiDA has a duty to do all that is possible to get work done successfully and the money fully spent before the Compact ends 18 months from today.
It is to be realized that government terminated the Power Distribution Services (PDS) contract after it discovered the payment guarantees were invalid. PDS was created to partly privatize and restructure the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). Consequently, the Millennium Challenge Corporation reduced its compact for US$498million in grants with Ghana by US$190million. Out of the total amount pledged, the MCC has committed US$128million.