‘Dumsor’ forces Parliament to suspend sitting temporarily

Doe Adjaho,Speaker of ParliamentThe nationwide power crisis, popularly known as “dumsor,” hit Parliament on Wednesday, forcing the law makers to suspend sitting for close to an hour.

The standby generators which provide power to the House in the event of power outage, were dysfunctional.

The legislators were in the process of approving a number of international loans and agreements, when the power went off abruptly.

The entire chamber was partially dark, with rays of sunlight coming from the few glass windows and the Members of Parliament (MPs) had no option than to suspend sitting.

Some MPs, who were not happy with the situation, yelled that “upon all the loans, the government cannot even fix the power crises.”

The House, since the beginning of last year, has suffered similar power crisis on a number of occasions.

The Speaker, Edward Doe Adjaho, sometime ago, formed a committee to investigate the power challenges when the situation became unbearable, but nothing has been heard of it.

Addressing the media on the crisis, the Director of Public Affairs at Parliament, Kate Addo, said the House was in the process of acquiring new generators to provide power during such circumstances.

She said the current generators, which were purchased in 1996 were faulty and would soon be replaced.

In another development, the House approved a financing agreement between the government and International Development Association (IDA) for an amount of US$25 million, as additional funding to finance the transport sector projects.

The agreement is a concessionary with an interest rate of 1.25 per cent, per annum, repayment period of 25 years, grace period of 60 months, commitment charge of 0.5 per cent and service charge of 0.75 per cent.

According to a report by the Finance Committee, the agreement would provide funding to support the government’s objective for the transport sector as highlighted in the National Transport Policy.

“The aim of the policy is to create a sustainable, accessible, affordable, reliable, effective and efficient transport system,” it said.

The facility will be used for the rehabilitation of the Ayamfuri-Asawinso road, construction of selected roads in the Accra East Corridor including the rehabilitation of the Burma Camp Road, among others.

Officials from the National Development Planning Commission, briefed the House on the nation’s 40-year development plan, and the MPs discussed a presentation made by the chairman of the commission, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey.

By Yaw Kyei

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