The Chamber of Independent Power Producers, Distributors and Bulk Consumers (CIPDiB) has refuted accusations by government that it is creating unnecessary tension in the country by threatening to cut power supply should government fail to settle the over one billion dollar debt owed its members.
The Chamber insisted that it is an apolitical group with the objective of championing the interest of power producers in the country and not any political agenda.
The Chamber further says its objectives also include contributing “to energy sector policy formulation in support of the best interests of its members and consumers and to facilitate Ghana’s economic development in all dealings with government and other organizations when necessary.”
A statement issued by the Chamber, Chief Executive Officer of CIPDiB, Elikplim Kwabla Apetorgbor, explained that the energy sector is currently on life support and the growing debt is crippling the Ghanaian economy hence its pressure on government to clear the debt.
“The Chamber of Independent Power Producers, Distributors and Bulk Consumers (CIPDiB) have taken note of the reportage with the above headline carried on www.citinewsroom.com which, among other things, quotes the Honorable Deputy Minister of Energy, Hon. William Owuraku Aidoo, as accusing the Chamber of IPPs as exhibiting traits of a pressure group and creating unnecessary tension with threats to interrupt power supply. We wish to assure government and the public that we have no political motives for the timing of the communication that IPPs may be forced to shut down. This is based purely on commercial exigencies we currently face and not any political agenda,” the statement noted.
CIPDiB further explained that, “On average, IPPs, since 2017, are paid just barely 40% of power invoices on a monthly basis which is not enough to sustain operations, especially when these low payments have persisted for so long. Members have had to resort to loans in order to keep their operations going but at the cost of crippling debt service obligations which have become unsustainable hence the demand for the prompt payment of overdue invoices to the tune of $1.44billion as at 30th September 2020.”
“The unpaid invoices owed IPPs is crippling the businesses of our members. It would interest the public to know that the Energy Sector debt to IPPs which was $124 million at the end of 2016 has ballooned ten-fold to $1,180 million as of 31st July 2020. Clearly, this is unsustainable and poses serious economic and financial risks to our members which is why we are being compelled to serve notice to Ghanaians about the possibility of a forced shutdown due to lack of funds to maintain our operations,” the statement added.
IPPs creating unnecessary tension with threats over monies owed them – Deputy Minister
CIPDiB issued the statement days after government accused it of exhibiting traits of a pressure group.
A Deputy Minister for Energy in charge of power, William Owuraku Aidoo said the Chamber is creating unnecessary tension with threats to interrupt power supply over monies owed its members by the government.
He said it is unfortunate that the Chamber is issuing such threats when the country is heading into elections next month.
“The Chamber is being used as a pressure institution to pressure government into doing things that it is already doing; having one on one discussions with individual power producers and so on. With three weeks to elections, it is very unfortunate to hear this Chamber of Independent Power Producers coming out to say they will pull the plug on us, creating unnecessary panic within the system. My recent interaction with them shows there is no cause for alarm, so it is very worrying that they will come out and say things the individual power producers are not saying,” he said.