UTAG Holds 2nd Expert Forum

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. D. D. Kuupole has called for the abolition of the Power ministry and advocated the setting up of a technical committee to solve the recurring energy crisis in the country. “If we do away with the Ministry of Power and rely on the technical people, we can solve the problem”.   These sentiments were expressed when the Vice-Chancellor chaired the 2nd Expert Forum organized by the UCC branch of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG). The forum is held to provide a platform for a non-partisan and multidisplinary discussion of relevant global, national and local issues that will influence policy at those levels. The 2016 edition of the Expert Forum was on the theme “Sustainable and Integrative Approach to Solving the Perennial Energy Crisis: Issues of Production and Alternative Sources, Distribution and Consumption”.   Prof. Kuupole said Ghanaians must be told the actual situation on the ground regarding the country’s energy requirements as to what is available and how much was needed. “We need to know the mismatch currently, I mean someone should tell us the truth”, he emphasized.   He commended UTAG, UCC for organizing the forum and encouraged them to hold more of such fora “since universities are set up to generate ideas and proffer solutions to problems”.   Delivering the first presentation on the topic Re-Engineering Sustainable Energy Production for National Development, former Chief Executive Officer, Volta River Authority, Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby, asked that professionals should be allowed to come up with solutions to the numerous energy problems in the country and politicians must also see to the implementation of the solutions. “Those who have the knowledge about the subject must be allowed to work for the solutions, all the politicians have to do is to listen and commit themselves to the implementation”.   Dr. Wereko-Brobby indicated that there was no one solution to all energy problems adding, “we cannot use today’s solution for tomorrow’s problems”. He said, rather it was the mix of technology that matters since consumers want a technology that will deliver at the least cost.   Speaking on the topic “Effective and Efficient Energy Distribution”, an Energy Expert from the African Centre for Energy Policy, Dr. Ishmael Ackah, called for the reduction of losses since each year an amount of $100 million is lost through distribution by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). Dr. Ackah also indicated that there were a lot of losses that come as a result of street lighting system. “Until the inefficiencies by E. C. G are addressed it becomes extremely difficult to tell people to pay more tariffs.” The Energy Expert recommended that government must take immediate steps to pay up debts owed E. C. G, to enable the company also clear its indebtedness to power producers.   Dr. Ackah called for the Northern Electricity Development Company and ECG to be merged for investment through listing on the stock exchange. Again, he said, E. C. G staff who connived with customers to steal power should be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others.