Parliament has approved a budgetary allocation of GHÂ¢854,062,706 for the Ministry of Energy for the 2021 financial year.
The breakdown for the expenditure includes Employee Compensation of GHÂ¢4.4 million, Goods and Services GHÂ¢6.3 million, Capital Expenditure and ABFA GHÂ¢76 million, Retained IGF(Energy Commission) GHÂ¢68.3 million and Development Partners (DP) Funds GHÂ¢679.4 million.
Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, Chairman of the Committee on Mines and Energy, presenting the Committeeâ€™s Report, stated that the approval of the amount would go a long way to support the achievement of the sectorâ€™s goal of providing secure, safe and reliable supply of energy to promote economic growth of the country.
Mr Akyea also observed that in 2021, the Ministry of Energy planned to undertake various projects to improve its power generation and transmission sub-sector.
Some of these projects include the completion of phase 1B of the Early Power project to bring the installed capacity to 200MW, the ongoing PPA renegotiations, continue works on the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam, repair/replacement of T3 Gas Turbines.
He said under the power distribution programmes, the Ministry intended to connect 766 towns to the national grid and continue on-going rural electrification projects under the Self-Help Electrification Project (SHEP)-4 and SHEP-5 across the country.
He said as part of the Ministryâ€™s effort at conserving energy, a total of 5 million LED bulbs (5W, 9W and 13W) would be distributed to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
Additionally, the Ministry plans to install street lights on an estimated minimum of 300km stretch of roads and streets in some selected Metropolises, Municipalities and Districts across the country.
Mr Akyea also observed that out of the total budget of GHÂ¢685,766,327 approved for the Ministry in 2020 financial year, a substantial amount of GHÂ¢441.03 million representing 64.3 percent was expected to be sourced from Development Partners (DP). At the end of the fiscal year under review, only GHÂ¢55.13 million, representing 12.5 percent of the total amount had been released by the DP.
He further noted that the Energy Commission in 2020 received only GHÂ¢30.05 million out of of GHÂ¢77.61 million, representing 38.7 percent of the approved budget.
He said the inadequacy of the funds released prevented the Ministry from undertaking most of its capital projects, particularly in the area of power generation, transmission and distribution, culminating in low performance to increasing national electricity access rate by only 0.19 percent.
Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Ranking Member on Energy, in seconding the motion, stated that some of the major concerns they raised regarding the energy sector is that the government was unable to invest in capital expenditure projects, especially in the power sector.
He said the reason why the Ministry of Energy could not undertake most of its capital projects was that they were relying on donor partners to fund their programmes.
He, therefore, advised the government to make the Ministry a priority, saying energy is at the heart of the economy.
â€œIf we are not willing to budget on capital expenditure projects we are not going anywhere, â€ he added.