The President of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GCCI), Dr Seth Adjei Baah has said it will make more economic sense for power producer Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to cut off supplies to domestic consumers in favour of industries, rather than spreading the suffering across.
The Chamber also wants the Government to stop ECG from including industrial zones in the ongoing load shedding exercise.
ECG began the load management exercise in the industrial enclaves on Monday, December 1, 2014 as part of energy conservation measures due to the worsening energy situation in the country.
Some businesses at the North Kaneshie industrial area have already hinted at the possibility of laying off workers if the load shedding exercise continues.
Baah told STARR BUSINESS’ Fred Dzakpata that an intervention from the Government is urgently needed to either stop the ECG’s extension of the load shedding exercise to industrial zones, or get the Company to make domestic consumers suffer more power cuts in favour of industry.
“I believe that instead of cutting industries, we should cut local domestic consumption. If I’m not having light for two days and industry is working, it is better off for me because industry still keeps the people employed. If you cut it and they lay people off, it’s going to be a problem on our hands.
“[For] some of the companies, when you cut off electricity to them, they need to heat their machines for a certain number of hours. By the time they have to start production, you are going to cut again,” he said.
Dr Baah believes the economic consequences of denying industries power will be more disastrous than when domestic consumers are made to suffer a lot more in favour of industries.
“You are laying people off: it’s going to add up to unemployment. We are saying that we should consume made in Ghana goods: the goods, if we are not able to produce in the required quantity, how do we consume it? And if you cut electricity, it means we can’t produce. So I think it’s a wrong directive from the ECG. Government should stop it.”
“It’s quite unfortunate. I think…Government should stop them because the industries are the engine of growth of our economy,” Baah said.
“If we are cutting electricity from industry, we are trying to say we are halting industries [from] performing in the country,” he explained.