14 December 2012

Ghana: Mahama Lobbies Godluck Jonathan

President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday paid a day's visit to Abuja, Nigeria, to discuss with President Goodluck Jonathan about progress on the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP).

An official statement from the Office of the President said although the broken pipe, which truncated supplies to Ghana months ago, had been fixed, but further works had to be carried out.

President Mahama told journalists at the State House after the meeting: "I took the opportunity to discuss with him the issue of the West Africa Gas Pipeline. As you are aware, it got broken and there was an accident when they were trying to activate it.

"So, I want President Jonathan to use his influence to get the pipeline back into operation as soon as possible, so that Ghana can continue to receive Nigerian gas to power our electricity generation."

The statement said the two leaders resolved to continue to work together towards an early completion of the repair and ensure regular and reliable flow of natural gas through the WAGP to Ghana. It said they also discussed other important issues of bilateral cooperation, including energy, security, trade and cultural integration.

President Mahama consoled President Jonathan on the loss of his brother, Chief Meni Innocent Jonathan. "I should have attended the funeral, but we were at the height of our election so, it wasn't possible.

"So, I came with the traditional drinks as it is customary with Ghana and our contribution to the funeral which I have presented to President Jonathan to be sent to the family back home", President Mahama said.

President Jonathan congratulated President Mahama on his victory in last weekend's presidential and parliamentary elections.

He welcomed President Mahama's success in securing his people's mandate for a full term in office, adding that the victory was an endorsement by the Ghanaian electorate of his leadership and his party's action plan for further socio-economic development and continued consolidation of democracy in the country.

President Mahama has since returned to Accra, enroute to Equatorial Guinea, to attend the 7th ACP summit in Malabo. In a related development, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is implementing a Distribution System Loss Reduction Project intended to trim the company's distribution system losses from the current 20 per cent to 10 per cent.

The five-year project, apart from managing system losses, is expected to improve energy efficiency in the power sector.

Dr. Nicholas Smart-Yeboah, Director of Customer Services at the ECG, said this on Wednesday in Accra, at the opening session of a three-day West African Power Pool (WAPP) Capacity Building Seminar on Control of Technical and Commercial Losses in the West African Power Sector.

It was to brainstorm on ways of empowering the ECG and other utility agencies with the right tools to battle the canker of system losses. The workshop was organized with support from the United States Agency for International Development.

Dr. Smart-Yeboah said the ECG had embarked on the installation of high voltage distribution systems on its network from 11,000 volts to 33,000 volts to prevent pilfering and system tampering.

He said the company had also introduced Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) for its special load tariff customers.

Dr. Smart-Yeboah said the AMR system was chiefly designed for ECG's high power-consuming customers and that 90 per cent of the industrial customers had been covered nationwide.

He said the system provided a 24-hour weekly automatic metering system. Dr. Smart-Yeboah expressed the hope that the workshop would provide the participants the requisite knowledge to develop innovative ways of curtailing the system losses challenges which had "plagued the power sector for so long".

Mr. Amadou Diallo, Secretary General of WAPP, in a speech read on his behalf, said most utility agencies had double-digit technical and non-technical loss values that were far above industry standards, adding it continued to weigh heavily on financial performance and tariff levels.

He said ignorance of customers on prudent electricity usage culminated in unnecessary wastage and high bills that could have been avoided.

Mr. Diallo said: "It is, therefore, evident that strategies aimed at augmenting quality of electricity supplies include measures that aim to address these challenges".

He noted that proactive actions such as public sensitization and education campaigns, promotion of energy-friendly appliances, and the adoption of pre-payment metering systems were just some of the pursuits that had yielded concrete positive results with some of the WAPP member utilities.

Mr. Diallo expressed the hope that the workshop would provide the opportunity for stronger inter-utility relationships and to exchange ideas on best practices.

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Limited is implementing a Distribution System Loss Reduction Project intended to trim the company's distribution system losses from the current 20 per cent to 10 per cent.

The five-year project, apart from managing system losses, is expected to improve energy efficiency in the power sector. Dr. Nicholas Smart-Yeboah, Director of Customer Services at the ECG, said this on Wednesday in Accra at the opening session of a three-day West African Power Pool (WAPP) Capacity Building Seminar on Control of Technical and Commercial Losses in the West African Power Sector.

It was to brainstorm on ways of empowering the ECG and other utility agencies with the right tools to battle the canker of system losses. The workshop was organized with support from the United States Agency for International Development.

Dr. Smart-Yeboah said the ECG had embarked on the installation of high voltage distribution systems on its network from 11,000 volts to 33,000 volts to prevent pilfering and system tampering.

He said the company had also introduced Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) for its special load tariff customers.

Dr. Smart-Yeboah said the AMR system was chiefly designed for ECG's high power-consuming customers and that 90 per cent of the industrial customers had been covered nationwide.

He said the system provided a 24-hour weekly automatic metering system. Dr Smart-Yeboah expressed the hope that the workshop would provide the participants the requisite knowledge to develop innovative ways of curtailing the system losses challenges which had "plagued the power sector for so long".

Mr. Amadou Diallo, Secretary General of WAPP, in a speech read on his behalf, said most utility agencies had double-digit technical and non-technical loss values that were far above industry standards, adding it continued to weigh heavily on financial performance and tariff levels.

He said ignorance of customers on prudent electricity usage culminated in unnecessary wastage and high bills that could have been avoided.

Mr. Diallo said: "It is, therefore, evident that strategies aimed at augmenting quality of electricity supplies include measures that aim to address these challenges".

He noted that proactive actions such as public sensitization and education campaigns, promotion of energy-friendly appliances, and the adoption of pre-payment metering systems were just some of the pursuits that had yielded concrete positive results with some of the WAPP member utilities.

Mr. Diallo expressed the hope that the workshop would provide the opportunity for stronger inter-utility relationships and to exchange ideas on best practices.

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