Energy policy analyst group, the Institute for Energy Policies and Research (INSTEPR), has called for the creation of two new ministries to man the nation’s energy sector.
The call, according to INSTEPR in its 2021 Outlook and Expectations in the Energy Sector report, follows the enormous growth of the energy sector which now makes it difficult to be effectively managed by a single ministry – The Ministry of Energy.
The scrapping of the Ministry of Energy by government according to the group, should result in the creation of the Ministry of Power and the Ministry of Oil and Gas.
“The growth in the energy sector has made it impossible for a single Ministry to properly manage the entire energy sector. In the 1990s the ministry was called, Ministry of Mines and Energy. This Ministry was then split to provide focus for the Energy sector and manage growth. We strongly believe that the time has come for two new Ministries, Ministry of Power and Ministry for Oil and Gas, to properly manage this sector,” said INSTEPR in its report.
INSTEPR proposes that the new Ministry of Power have oversight responsibility over establishments such as the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), Volta River Authority (VRA), Bui Authority, Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDco), Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and the yet to be established Renewable Authority (Stated in Amended Act 832).
The Ministry of Oil and Gas will on the other hand, oversee the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC), Petroleum Commission, Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Ghana Cylinder Manufacturing Company (GCMC) and International Oil Companies (IOCs).
Over the past decade, Ghana’s energy sector has grown to become the backbone of the economy. The discovery of Oil and Gas in commercial quantities has afforded the government extra revenue – revenue totalling $937 million in 2019 according to the NRGI’s report on Ghana’s oil sales – aside the nation’s traditional exports with the sector now contributing immensely to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reducing the country’s reliance on gas importation for power generation.
Despite the growth of the sector and it’s contribution to development, the lack of proper planning by successive governments for the energy sector has resulted in various inefficiencies and debts among which are the power outages that bedevilled the country from 2012 to 2016 as well as the growing indebtedness of the sector which according to the Energy Sector Recovery Programme (ESRP) could reach $12.5 billion, approximately 18.7 per cent of current GDP.
The 2021 Outlook and Expectations in the Energy Sector report according to INSTEPR is to highlight key areas in the energy sector that need urgent attention in 2021 and beyond.
The group also noted that going forward, it will be publishing a barometer every 6 months to measure the government’s success in the implementation of the Strategic National Energy Plan (SNEP 2030) and the Energy Sector Recovery Programme (ESRP).