Former President John Dramani Mahama has accused the Akufo-led government of collateralising proceeds from the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) until 2035.
ESLA, according to Mr Mahama was introduced to solve the financial aspect of the energy crisis experienced during his tenure in office.
Mr. Mahama said this at the Academic City University College on Friday, December 9, 2022, when he delivered the Keynote address at a Leadership Seminar Series on the topic “Taking Critical Decisions in Decisive Moments as a Leader.“
He said ESLA was to generate additional revenue to pay legacy debts from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and some Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) supplying petroleum.
He, however, stated that the current government has mortgaged the proceeds of ESLA.
“They have taken the money in advance and spent it and collateralised it to 2035,” he claimed.
As a result, he stated that there is the likelihood of the IMF including ESLA in the public debt in the debt restructuring, adding that “if that is done, it will free up the ESLA money to be used to pay off the shortfall in energy debts.”
In a related development, Mr. Mahama stated that erratic power supply, popularly called “dumsor”, was a legacy problem he inherited.
This, according to him, is because previous governments did not pay attention to the need for generation of electricity at the same pace as its demand was rising.
“For many years, our demand for energy was growing by 12 per cent a year, we were consuming 12 per cent more energy per year. Unfortunately, previous governments were not putting in generation at the pace at which demand was rising.
“..You must forecast demand and then you must put in the generation to match the demand as it grows. Unfortunately for several years, no new power plant was put up to meet the demand and it all came to a head when I became President,” he said.
He explained that load shedding happened in his era as a result of one of the thermal plants in Takoradi breaking down.
Mr. Mahama said he accepted responsibility for the “dumsor” problem and set up an emergency committee to deal with the crisis, which was in two parts- generation and financial problems.
“We mobilised almost 500 Megawatts of power in the shortest time ever recorded in Africa. In a period of 9 months after February [State of nation address] we had the Ameri power plant producing power, so we solved the generational part,” he said.
Academic City University College on Friday, December 9, 2022, held a Leadership Seminar Series.
The Leadership Series was designed as part of the University’s efforts to nurture the next generation of African leaders. It is aimed at ensuring that knowledge developed in the class is directly applied to address contemporary societal problems.
It is expected that the course will provide a platform for students to interact with renowned African leaders who have transcended from political, innovation, education, and industrial realms through sheer force of will and have impacted many lives.
Addressing students as the Keynote Speaker for the event, former President, John Dramani Mahama took the students through what leadership entails.
“Leadership is about responsibility first and decision making, you must accept responsibility for the position that you occupy and once you are the leader, people look up to you to take responsibility and based upon that responsibility, take decisive action. You cannot take proper decisions when you have not accepted responsibility for taking those decisions,” he explained.