Ghana’s VP advises West African countries to utilise energy opportunities

It is difficult for West Africa to step up production levels to create jobs and alleviate poverty without sufficient energy to sustain the business entities. -John Dramani Mahama, Ghana's Vice President

Vice President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday appealed to West African countries to make judicious use of all power generating activities that could help sustain their industrial pursuit. 

Vice President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana

He said good management of oil and gas for both domestic and commercial utilisation could also encourage investors to establish industries and other commercial institutions.

Vice President Mahama said it is difficult for West Africa to step up production levels to create jobs and alleviate poverty without sufficient energy to sustain the business entities.

He made the appeal when he launched a two-day West African Gas Stakeholders Forum in Accra.

The Forum being attended by participants from Togo, Nigeria, Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast among other countries would discuss energy needs, existing and projected gas requirement, domestic and gas market and policy development in the West African Sub-Region.

It was organised by the World Bank, West African Gas Pipe-line Company in collaboration with ECOWAS, West African Gas Pipeline Authority and the Volta River Authority.

Vice President Mahama said although the West African Pipe line Gas Company had been erratic and disappointing of late, there was the need to increase the output to ensure regular supply to the sub-region for both domestic and industrialisation consumption.

He said Ghana for the past month had to resort to power rationing due to power shortage at the Asogli Gas Plant leaving a deficit of 200,000 megawatts and gave the assurance that government would put up measures that would curb the perennial power shortages.

Vice President Mahama called on the participants to outline their challenges and create a bigger platform to strategise to solve such challenges in subsequent meetings.

Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, a Deputy Minister of Energy said government would step up oil revenue management, investment framework, security, natural gas utilisation and commercialisation to become a net exporter of oil and gas and a major player in the global petroleum industry.

He said the completion of the Bui Hydro-Electricity Project would extend electricity and other sources of energy to 70 per cent of Ghanaians, particularly in the rural areas.

Mr Buah said government would also support sustained regeneration of woody biomass resources, promote the establishment of woodlots for charcoal and promote the production and use of improved and efficient biomass utilisation technologies as part of measures to sustain the supply of wood fuels policy direction.

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Source: Ghana News Agency

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