Head of Communication at the Energy Ministry, Nana Damoah yesterday failed to respond with concrete answers allegations made by the opposition National Democratic Congress, that the nation’s energy sector is on the verge of collapse due to mismanagement of the sector on the part of government.
Speaking to Citi FM’s Umaru Sanda, about four hours after the NDC’s Policy Dialogue Series on the Energy Sector on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, Nana Damoah failed to give clear answers relative to the allegations raised by NDC.
Asked by the journalist whether the nation’s energy sector debt stands at GHC15 billion as alleged by the NDC, the ministry’s spokesperson could not give an answer except to say that the country’s energy sector is very functional and that the opposition should be reminded of how it is contributing to the energy sector debt through some contracts it signed during their time in power.
“The country’s energy sector is very functional and we are doing well. I would have been very happy if they (NDC) had mounted the platform and said that the current Ministry is getting it wrong, [because they] do not understand the current structure and explain it to the people of Ghana in a very eloquent structure that they have done that this was the strategy and this is why it makes sense, but, no such thing was done. As we speak, they claim that debts are mounting but they should remember that they are contributing US$500 million every year to that debt stock,” said Nana Damoah.
When the host sought to remind him to give a substantive answer to the question saying “again what is our current debt in the energy sector, three years on since your government took office?”
Nana Damoah replied saying “I would give you that figure at a later time, I will have to cross check and give it to you… In these numbers accuracy is very important.”
Seeking further answers to other allegations made by the NDC, Umaru Sanda again asked the mouthpiece of the Energy Ministry whether the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) at the moment does not have any strategic oil reserved to cover the country should a situation arise.
Again, Nana Damoah was unable to give a clear answer, except to say that he is not aware of such a case and that it “will be strange for me to even conceptualise how BOST will not have any strategic reserve.”
When probed to give factual evidence to disprove the case of the opposition which he described as “absurd allegations”, Nana Damoah said the burden of proof should be placed on the opposition and not his outfit and the government.
“You are saying they have put out facts and I am saying that these are just allegations they are making…… if we allow this to go on then we are going to get to the stage where every point in time I make an allegation and it is on the other person to prove. I am telling you that that is absurd in itself. So, if they are the ones making the allegations at least let them bring any bits of evidence to back up their claims, then we can respond.”
On the allegations of GNPC borrowing 1 billion dollars without parliamentary approval, Nana Damoah said the Minority in parliament were at liberty to seek redress in the law courts if they have a case.
“This is entirely absurd and again let me put out these facts. In this country, as we stand, if indeed GNPC has been allowed to borrow US$1 billion without parliamentary approval then as parliamentarians they sit down and let this go on then it tells you the kind of parliamentarians that we have.”
“The fact that they are Members of Parliament, they make a claim that these loans did not even come to Parliament as they should have. Nothing stops them from going to court and asking the Supreme Court to declare that GNPC has condoned an illegality. If you haven’t done this and you mount political platforms to make allegations then it is needless.”