500 Communities In Northern Region To Get Electricity

Five hundred communities in the Northern Region under the Turnkey Rural Electrification Project (TREP) would be connected with electricity by the end of September this year. It would be recalled that, President Evans Atta Mills, last year cut the sod for commencement of the Northern Regional Turnkey Electrification Project and indicated that the government had secured a US 120 million dollar loan facility from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to execute the Project. Under the Project five communities in each of the 20 districts in the region would benefit and this would improve on the current rate 43.52 percent of access to electricity rate in the region. Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Deputy Minister of Energy announced in Tamale on Friday, when he introduced the main contractor, Hunan Construction Engineering Group Corporation of China; responsible for the implementation of the Project to the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), the district assemblies and other stakeholders. He said it was the resolve of government, in the medium term, to raise the accessibility rates of electricity supply in the three Northern Regions nearer to the national average of 72 percent He said under the TREP, it was anticipated that over 484,000 households in the 20 districts would benefit through the creation of about 30 permanent jobs and 200 temporary ones. The Deputy Energy Minister however stressed that the local content component of the Project, which requires that at least 30 percent of the employees where indigenes was adhered to and not compromised. �The active involvement of Ghanaians in the National Electrification Scheme through local content has become a major policy issues for us as a Ministry�, the Minister emphasized. Alhaji Fuseini said there would be no compensation issue, whatsoever in the execution of the Project and asked the MMDCEs to work together with the contractor to resolve all the issues. He said the approved service connection fees to be paid by prospective customers was GHC 0.58 p for a single phase and GHC 1.16 p for three- phase connection and warned against any illegal collection of fees. Mr Moses Bukari Magbengba, Northern Regional Minister urged the District Chief Executives to consult with the communities and other stakeholders to find out their views and opinions on the electrification exercise to ensure its smooth implementation. He appealed to the contractor to speed up the project to enable more communities� to benefit, since it was a four year project.