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President John Dramani Mahama has appealed to Ghanaians to be a little more patient and tolerant with the government over the power crisis because the problem cannot be solved overnight.

He said although the government was investing heavily in a bid to get the country out of the crisis “these things don’t happen like magic”.

Speaking at an end-of-year meeting with the Council of State at the Peduase Lodge yesterday, the President said he appreciated the sacrifices Ghanaians had made under the erratic power supply, but said the enormity of the challenge demanded some more time to overcome, so that the country would not find itself in that unpleasant situation again.

“Dumsor dumsor, I know, has become a part of the Ghanaian lexicon and we are working very hard to overcome the challenges,” President Mahama said.

He indicated that until a solution to the inadequate gas supply to feed the thermal plants in the Tema enclave was found, the erratic power supply would continue.

Consequently, he said the government had adopted some strategies, including bringing in liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar and Equatorial Guinea to complement what was received from Nigeria to feed the Tema enclave through a barge.

With the Atuabo Gas processing plant having come on board, gas supply to the western part of the country had improved tremendously, he added.

Labour crisis/corruption

Touching on the Tier 2 pension brouhaha that ended in court, President Mahama said he had asked the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and the other stakeholders to engage with labour to resolve the issue amicably.

“I think all of us are intent on the same objective of ensuring that workers are able to go home with a better package and if we are able to open a dialogue, we should be able to reach some agreement to that effect, instead of going down the route of litigation,” he said.

On corruption in society, the President said it was paradoxical that when the government had shown commitment to fight corruption, it was rather being accused of corruption.

“I know that in previous cases the way to go was to hide it. Now we are ready to raise the carpet and sweep out all the dirt that is under the carpet to make sure that the room is clean,” he said.

Making reference to a letter which he recently wrote to his ministers to act on recommendations of the 2012 Auditor General’s report, President Mahama warned that those who failed to act on it by the end of February 2015 would face sanctions, including the suspension of their salaries.

“This government is determined to fight corruption and will not be deterred by all the noise that is being made and accusations being levelled against us,” he stressed.

IMF

The President told the meeting that the programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was ongoing and expressed the hope that by the first quarter of next year Ghana would be able to sign on to the three-year programme, adding that the government would not allow the IMF to dictate to it.

He said efforts were underway to clear statutory payments that had been in arrears because of lack of funds.

He commended the Council of State for its good counsel that had contributed to the successes the government had chalked up so far.

Council chairperson

The Chairperson of the Council of State, Madam Cecilia Johnson, who spoke on international and local issues, urged President Mahama to do everything possible to halt the loot of public finances by unscrupulous people.

She said there was no doubt that the President was on the right path and so all must support him to deliver on his promises.

She also touched on energy and labour/government conflicts.

 

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