Delivering perhaps his penultimate State of The Nation Address in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitutionof the Republic of Ghana which states “the President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament and before dissolution of Parliament, deliver to Parliament a message on the state of the nation,” President Mahama quickly tackled headlong the issue of the prolonged power crisis which has left the country reeling in darkness and vowed to “fix it” and not “manage the situation“.
In a speech laced with metaphors, he equated the difficulties being faced by the country in resolving the erratic power crisis to the constant challenges one faces in life. He noted that as the nation turns 58 in a few days time, the realization that comes to the fore is, one climbs the greatest hill only to find there are many more hills to climb.
To the president, “one of such hills is to provide power to Ghanaians,” stressing that his administration does “not intend to manage the situation as has been done in the past“.
“We have climbed many hills together and we shall climb many more….One of such hills is to provide power to Ghanaians….The effect of this power crisis has affected all Ghanaians….We have been here before in 1998, 2007…In the past what we have done is try to manage ourselves out of the situation. I do not intend to manage the situation as has been done in the past, I intend to fix it. I owe it to the Ghanaian people. I, John Dramani Mahama, will fix this energy challenge,” he vowed.
In solving the power challenge, the President outlined a number of measures including ensuring that majority of homes in the country use solar energy.
“We’re working on a proposal to make solar energy available to micro-enterprises & household… By 2016 there will be the addition of 3,665 megawatts to the power grid. New Ministry of power is working on proposals to restructure the power sector beginning with the VRA and the Bui Power Authority. We expect starting from this year and over the next five years to inject 3665 megawatts of power into our power transmission grid,” he said.
The lesson we must learn from this energy crisis, according to the President, is to ‘plan better for the future’.
“We would have to double our electricity supplies every eight years to keep up with the demand,” he added.