Youth Urged To Go Into Farming

James GunuMr. Kirk Koffi, Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority (VRA), said a number of power generating plants will be brought on board to argument power generation by the Authority.

He said by December this year, additional power would be added to what is currently being generated by VRA, adding that all the six turbines at the Akosombo dam have been running to generate electricity for the national grid.

Mr Koffi was speaking at the launch of two books that were authored by Professor Edward Ayensu, former Chairman of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research, in Accra on Wednesday, as part of activities to commemorate the Golden Jubilee celebration of Volta River Authority (VRA).

Mr Koffi said the current load shedding was unfortunate, explaining that two power generating plants had broken down at Aboadze, and engineers were working assiduously to bring the situation under control.

Mr Koffi said the demand for power in the country far outweighs what was being generated, and appealed to the public to help conserve electricity, particularly during the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil.

Deputy Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr John Jinapour, said the contribution of VRA to national development could not be overemphasised, and that energy was the “life wire” of the country’s developmental drive.

He said without it, most of state machinery could not function, but unfortunately, the Authority was operating under distress condition, in terms of funds, because most customers failed to pay the realistic bills for electricity consumed, adding that government spent between $6 and $7 million every day to import light crude oil to power the thermal plant.

The Deputy Minister said the Bui hydro dam which was producing below capacity due to lack of water in the dam, saying that was the more reason why government was expediting work at the Atuabo gas plant to be completed on time.

He advocated the use of coal and other energy efficient means to add up to the power to the grid.

Mr. Kwaku Awotwi, a former Chief Executive of the VRA, commended the author of the books for cataloguing the brain behind the construction of the Akosombo dam, its potentials and benefit to the socio-economic development of the country.

He said 50 years of the establishment of the VRA by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first President, the Authority was moving from strength to strength, and is one of the best performing state institutions in the country, and among the eight enterprises in Africa.

Mr. Awotwi said that though the VRA had experienced difficult moments, it was proud of its accomplishment, and commended those who contributed to the success story.

Prof. Ayensu paid tribute to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and late Komla Agbeli Gbedema, a former Finance Minister, in the CPP government, for conceiving the idea of building the dam, saying that apart from generating power, the dam could be a source of economic activity for fisher folks and tourism, and means of transportation among others.

The books titled: “The Lake of Life” and “Field Guide to the Volta River Basin”, were authored by Professor Edward Ayensu, former Chairman of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research.

The 224-page book on the “Lake of Life”, emphasised the energy infrastructure development and the strategic focus of VRA’s contribution to the economy while the 256-page book on the “Guide to the Volta River Basin”, was aimed at attracting students and tourists to the rich flora and fauna of the Volta Basin, to be able to celebrate diversity of the basin. By Francis Asamoah Tuffour & Charity Saafaa

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