Keli Gadzekpo resigns as ECG Board Chair; Krapa takes over amid interruptions in power supply

By Joseph Boateng

Keli Gadzekpo has resigned as the board chairman of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) effective 9 April 2024. In a letter to President Akufo-Addo on Tuesday (26 March), Gadzekpo cited personal reasons for his decision to resign.

He thanked the president for the opportunity to serve the country for the past seven years “in this significant role”. Gadzekpo also wished ECG and the government continued success in the effort to providing stable electricity for the country.

In a related development, President Akufo-Addo has appointed Deputy Minister for Energy, Herbert Krapa as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Keli Gadzekpo

Mr Krapa, a lawyer, will remain in office as Deputy Minister for Energy. His nomination, contained in a letter addressed to his minister, Dr Matthew Prempeh, MP, comes at a time when the country is experiencing intermittent interruptions with electricity supply, a matter the President is determined to overcome in the shortest possible time.

Krapa is expected to lead the board to give not only direction to the besieged Managing Director of ECG and his team but to also ensure proper coordination across agencies in the power sector to ensure stable power supply to Ghanaian consumers.

Sources close to the Presidency indicate that President Akufo-Addo has been “extremely unhappy” with the recent power situation and what appears to be tension between the ECG and the Ministry of Energy, ECG and other critical agencies including GRIDCO, Volta River Authority (VRA), and to an extent, Ghana Gas, over the power situation in the country.

One major contention has been that VRA has been exporting power to the detriment of the local market. Whiles export of power gives VRA the needed foreign exchange revenues, it has a direct impact on the reliability of power supply domestically, especially at this time when gas supplies have been insufficient.

The President, our sources indicate, has been having a series of high-level meetings this month with the Energy sector players with the view to keep the lights on constantly from April onwards. At one of these meetings last week, President Akufo-Addo directed that the domestic power market should be given utmost priority henceforth.

ECG blames VRA and, to some extent, GRIDCO, for the recent power cuts, claiming that VRA supplies up to 250 MW to the export market regularly, usually more than what ECG is compelled to shed. The other agencies also blame ECG for not adhering to the cash waterfall payment formula and diverting funds due to other ECG priorities.

The appointment of a deputy minister in the sector to chair the national power company is expected to bring about better coordination among sector agencies and, in particular, between ECG and the Ministry. Ghana Gas is due to shut down for maintenance in April and all efforts are required to be brought to bear to minimise the negative impact on the power supply.

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