Abuja, Sept 8, GNA - President John Dramani Mahama on Saturday announced plans to ameliorate Ghana's current energy fluctuations and establish the country to become a net exporter of power to her neighbours.
He mentioned some of the measures as the completion of the Bui Hydro-Electricity programme which is expected to produce about 300 megawatts, develop the Jubilee Fields gas project that is also expected to produce between 600 and 700 megawatts.
President Mahama said: “We shall also develop wind and solar energy in areas as supplement to the hydro-electricity we have in Akosombo and others.”
President Mahama announced this when he met the Ghanaian community in Abuja, Nigeria as part of his three-day "hank You Tour" of some West African countries .
Apart from Nigeria, President Mahama visited Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin to thank them for their contribution towards the final funeral rites of late President John Evans Atta Mills which took place about a month ago.
President Mahama announced that Parliament had passed the Energy Renewable Bill that would empower the government to eliminate the use of paraffin for lighting and to also develop solar energy as an alternative to hydro-electricity and other means.
He said the Volta River Authority was also working on pilot projects to develop wind energy as an alternative to solar, hydro-electricity and gas in the coming years.
The President also announced that government was changing all traffic lights in the urban areas from their current state to solar, which was less expensive and could last longer even in the event of power outages.
He said although Ghana would still depend on the West African Gas Pipeline Company for the supply of power, the development of various projects in the country would offer the country the opportunity to become self-sufficient and an exporter of energy in the near future.
He encouraged Ghanaians in the diaspora to come home and invest in various sectors as the economy was growing and providing an enabling environment for investment, growth and development.
On the development of agriculture to continue serving as the backbone of the economy, President Mahama said he had directed the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to identify and protect all land banks for the youth to engage in agriculture under the “Youth in Agriculture Programme.”
President Mahama gave the assurance that the current energy fluctuations were temporal and government would do everything possible to overcome those challenges and provide workable strategies that would forestall such occurrences.
The Ghanaian community raised issues on political personality attacks on some media networks in Ghana, high taxes on their goods, dual citizenship and the use of motorbikes on commercial basis, a venture that had created a lot of problems in Nigeria.