FORMER PRESIDENT John Agyekum Kufuor has emphasized the need for government to enact smart tax policies to give renewable energy priority to boost the energy sector investment in order to make Ghana a secured energy nation in West Africa.
According to him, Ghana should take advantage in the shortfall of energy supply around the African continent to ensure policy outlook at the profitability of renewable energy and encourage private investors to move into the venture.
He underscored the need for government give private investors in solar and nuclear energy tax holiday and incentives coupled with formulating policies which will make the country energy-secure and will power economic growth by creating new jobs and giving government income in energy export.
The former president made the statement when Strategic Security Systems International Limited (3SiL) outdoored a new logo of the company at Kpone near Tema to mark the company's 10 years of operation in Ghana.
He said “In West Africa alone, I understand the shortage is 40 gigawatts and that's a lot. So if we think of generating electricity as an export commodity, of course we satisfy the local market but with some to spare to export to our neighborhood. Already, Ghana is exporting about 100 megawatts to Burkina Faso. I am sure if we focus on Nigeria with all its resources, Ghana might export easily 1000 megawatts to that country and the hard currency earnings we get from that might exceed what we are getting from traditional export like cocoa.
“The public sector must be the infrastructure for the private sector and if we want to do energy very well, competitive and affordable, then private sector should be in there for the public sector to do the framework, incentives, tax break and all the support we can give the private sector to go in there and not on short term basis but medium to longtime sustainable basis.”
The former president was full of praises for the founder of 3SiL, Francis A. Boateng, labelling him as an achiever. Quoting Margaret Thatcher, he said, “in this world, anytime there are only a few creators, when you find them what you have to do is to protect them and encourage them because by what they create, they create jobs for the multitude; they create wealth by which all of us live. So people like you, 3SiL, Ghana needs more of you to move Ghana's economy forward for all of us”.
He continued that “This man came and with his vision and initiative, see what he has done. Currently, he is the first and perhaps the only solar energy panel manufacturer in the whole of West Africa. And it is not only solar panel manufacturing but also, into securing strategic ventures for development. He deserves to be supported.”
The former president attested that he had seen the reality of the quality supply of products from Strategic Security Systems, believing that “If Ghana could get ten of these companies in the country, then Ghana will be in the main stream of middle income country.”
From Vincent Kubi, Kpone
Source- Daily guide