A former Finance Minister Seth Terkper has said the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) that was introduced by the Mahama administration is currently helping President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to pay debts in the energy sector.
He said the President failed to admit in his state of the nation address that the ESLA bas been beneficial to his government because of the earlier criticisms against it by Mr Akufo-Addo.
In a tweet after the President’s address on Tuesday March 9, Mr Terkper said “ESLA: Easy to take credit, yet very difficult to admit that ESLA flows used to pay banking sector bailout costs (especially, to Depositors), energy arrears (incl arrears to IPPs, BDCs etc), road arrears (contractors). ESLA used to restructure Bank debt without job loss in 2016.”
He added “Is it difficult to admit use of ESLA because it was called “nuisance” tax; not scrapped but retained; rate increased, not lowered; and ESLA extended to 10+ yrs & not lapse in 3-to-5 yrs. Give credit where due”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that the National Energy Policy, 2020, has been completed to improve the framework and strategies to meet contemporary energy needs of the country.
He said the government has improved the financial sustainability of the energy sector through several interventions, including paying up the energy legacy debts.
Furthermore, he said during the delivery of his first state of the nation address in his second term on Tuesday March 9, he said negotiations with Independent Power Producers (IPPs), the terms of whose contracts entail substantial financial charges on the state, are ongoing, and should be completed by the end of the year.
“This should result in a more affordable cost of power for the Ghanaian people. Under the National Electrification Scheme, a total of one thousand, four hundred and thirty-six (1,436) communities have been connected to the national grid, which has increased the national electricity access rate to 85.17% as at October 2020.
“My ambition is that, by the end of my term, the figure will be one hundred percent (100%),” he said.
He added that “The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation has accelerated petroleum exploration activities in the inland Voltaian Basin.
“It has successfully acquired and processed two thousand, five hundred and thirty-eight (2,538) line kilometre of 2D seismic data, analysed one thousand, five hundred and thirty-seven (1,537) geochemical samples, and established a working petroleum system. A gas processing plant-train is being constructed in the Western Region to compliment the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant, so as to increase dry gas delivery for power and nonpower users.
“The Takoradi portion of the Takoradi-Tema Interconnection Project (TTIP) has been completed with an increased capacity of gas exports from Takoradi to Tema, through the West African Gas Pipeline. GNPC and its private sector partners have advanced the work on the Tema LNG project, Ssub-Saharan Africa’s first LNG regasification terminal, which is expected to come on stream in the course of the year, to improve gas supply reliability for power and non-power industrial applications. The facility will also become a hub for regional energy security, ensuring low cost fuel for both Ghana and her partners in the ECOWAS Region.
“Mr. Speaker, at the beginning of my first term of office, in 2017, Government outlined its social development goals to include the promotion of gender equity and equality, survival and development of children, as well as the harmonisation of social protection interventions and programmes to contribute to the development of our nation.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana