Dumsor is a pure political term and, so, the Akufo-Addo government cannot defer to engineers to explain the “political term” it benefitted from while in opposition, the General Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia has said.
The country has been experiencing intermitted power outages in the past few weeks, which the Energy Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, has attributed to ongoing system upgrades.
Dr Prempeh, who recently announced that there would be systematic power outages in May, also refuted claims that dumsor was back during a recent tour of some ongoing upgrade projects in Accra.
The upgrades are being undertaken by state power transmitter Ghana Grid Company Limited.
“We should all be truthful in our communication. In 2016, the whole country, they gave us periods that we were off and on. In 2016, the government of the day told us that it was a generation problem. In 2016, even the opposition talked about the government not having money to buy fuel. This is not a generation problem, this is not about fuel, so, how could it be dumsor?”
“Dumsor is planned and a timetable is rolled out and it affected the whole country for four years. Is that what we are seeing? No”, he asserted, insisting: “Some of the systems, because of the challenges, the reason the system upgrades are being done is what we are feeling”.
“So, we have to bear with the contractors to finish in time so that we can enjoy the improvement we so desire”, he pleaded.
Pressed further by the journalists if he was being categorical that there is no dumsor, Dr Prempeh retorted: “Is there dumsor? I would ask you”.
“Is it the dumsor that you have known and come to live with that is happening in the country?” he wondered.
“We have systems where lines are flickering, voltages are low and, sometimes, like it happened over the weekend, a line is down because a conductor has broken. And that is exactly why we are here today – the system upgrade that is ongoing – and, so, the challenges are what we are dealing with and all I can say is to plead with Ghanaians to be forbearing and we’ll coming out of the problem”, he noted.
Dr Prempeh also dismissed rumours festering on social media that the intermittent outages were deliberate so as to justify intended tariff hikes.
“Some of these claims need not be responded to in the sense that in the light of the obvious fact, this was not started today, this project has been ongoing for some time, the project the engineer just told you about, so, I can simply say it is not true”.
However, Mr Asiedu Nketia told Kofi Oppong Asamoah on Class91.3FM’s Class Morning Show that: “Dumsor is not an engineering term, it’s a political term, so, if in 2016, we were not interested in listening to the causes of the dumsor, why should we be listening to the causes of the dumsor from the engineering standpoint now”.
“At that time, even when we were explaining that: ‘Look, part of the problem has to do with generation, part of the problem has to do with the gas that was not flowing from Nigerian and all that, they said it was all incompetence. So, the politician should not go and hide”, he noted.
“They should come and explain their own term dumsor and the explanation they gave was that, dumsor means light going on, light coming off and, so, now they cannot call the engineers who did not study dumsor in any of their textbooks, to come and explain to us what dumsor means”.