VRA to offload its commercial entities into private hands?

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The Volta River Authority (VRA) is getting ready to implement its long standing vision to shed its non-power related but commercially viable entities to private investors in order to focus on its core duty of ensuring the adequate provision of power for the nation.

The Authority which has been the biggest player in the power sub-sector all along, accounting for approximately 50 percent of the total installed capacity of the country, is also involved in the management of other businesses unrelated to its core mandate including health, education, hospitality, transportation and the administration of the Akosombo Township, among others.

However, the demand for power to feed the industrial and commercial needs of the country with a middle income status and the strategic role the VRA plays in the generation of power has informed the need for its management to be relieved off any other duty that may drain their operations.

In order to put this plan into action, the Minister for Energy, Boakye Agyarko, has tasked the newly inaugurated board of the Authority chaired by Kwaku Andoh Awotwi, to lead the restructuring process and to ensure that it is inclusive and consultative without leaving any effect on the operations of the power sector.

The board which has very experienced members such as Dr. Joyce Rosalyn Aryee, Nana Kobina Nketsia V, and Richard Obeng Okrah is expected to ensure the early re-organization of VRA into a holding company as a matter of priority.

The rest of the eight member board who are supposed to help push government’s policy in the power sub-sector include the current Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa; Musah Badimsugru Adam; El-Farouk Umar and Janet Anane.

In a speech on his behalf the Boakye Agyarko said even though the Authority has diverse generation assets ranging from hydro, thermal to Renewable Energy sources such as solar and wind as well as a power distribution subsidiary, the power sector is still confronted with challenges such as legacy debt, financial sustainability of entities, prudent management of the hydro resources and the availability of the thermal plants among others.

He therefore called on the Board to institute various initiatives, strategies and mechanisms to restructure and reorganize VRA to maintain its reputation as one of the best generating utilities in the sub region and as a generator of choice in line with its own corporate vision to become “a model of Excellence for Power Utilities in Africa.”

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