Wednesday, 29 February 2012 08:33
The Government of Ghana is spending 121 million US Dollars on a rural electrification programme that will extend the national electricity grid to 500 communities in the Upper East region.
This rural electrification programme is one of three projects that President John Evans Atta Mills promised the three Northern regions of Ghana.
The Deputy Energy Minister, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini made this known at a brief ceremony held at the Upper East regional minister’s office in Bolgatanga to officially introduce the project contractor, Thengashep [Gh] PTY Limited, a South African contractor.
He revealed that the project came to fruition as a result of an assessment done by the Energy Ministry on access to electricity in Ghana.
In that assessment, it came to light that the Northern region, Upper East region and Upper West region had accessibility rates of 43.52 per cent, 30.39 per cent and 31.95 per cent respectively which the Deputy Energy minister noted fall bellow the national average of 72 per cent.
Alhaji Fuseini said the project which will see the supply and installation of electrical materials and equipment in selected communities will be completed in three years and work out to about 88,917 households benefiting in the Upper East region.
He disclosed that the Ministry is poised on improving the lives of Ghanaians through the provision of electricity as this will create several temporal and permanent jobs as well as improve socio-economic
activities and livelihoods.
The Deputy Energy minister noted that a similar project known as the Self-Help Electrification Programme (SHEP) which will end by December 2012 is already running in the three Northern regions under which 112 communities are being hooked onto electricity.
He hinted that no compensation will be paid to anyone and entreated all beneficiary communities and the district assemblies to cooperate with the contractor to ensure a smooth and timely execution of the project.
He observed that a 30 per cent local content clause will get the communities fully involved in the project which will create 30 permanent jobs and 200 temporal jobs.
Alhaji Fuseini disclosed that the connection and metre fee under the project is 58 Ghana Pesewas for single phase while it will cost only one Ghana Cedi, 16 Pesewas for a three phase connection warning that people should report officials who charge above these figures to the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) or the Regional Coordinating Council and the Energy Ministry for the culprits to be given appropriate punishment.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Mark Owen Woyongo in a statement hoped the project will transform the lives of rural folks and appealed to the contractor to use re-enforced steel poles along communities where bush fires are rampant.
Flanked by Mr. John Tia, MP for Talensi and all municipal and district chief executives in the region thanked government for the project.
Source: ISD (Peter Atogewe Wedam, Bolgatanga)