On a monthly basis, the nation loses more than $57 million, which translates into an annual loss of two per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
The study, which was done to assess the impact of the power rationing on micro and small-scale businesses or enterprises (MSEs), also established that the annual sales of such companies had been lowered by about 37 to 48 per cent.
These were made known at a workshop organised by the Economy of Ghana Network (EGN), a policy think tank under the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana in Accra.
Effects on businesses
Presenting a report on “Electricity insecurity and its impact on doing business in Ghana,” a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Economics Division of ISSER, Dr Charles Ackah, who conducted the research, cautioned that if immediate measures were not taken to arrest the situation, the consequences could be dire.
He said out of the 1,250 MSEs surveyed across the 10 regions of the country, only 20 per cent had back-up generating sets to augment power supply to their businesses, a situation that he said could cripple businesses in the not-too-distant future.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), more than four million MSEs provide two-thirds of all jobs in the country, and Dr Ackah expressed the belief that if nothing was done as a matter of urgency to save them from the power crisis their operations could be affected severely or be grounded to a halt.
The World Bank in 2013 also established that power crisis was the second most important constraint to the activities of firms.
Dr Ackah said about 72 per cent of the businesses examined said power crisis was a major constraint to their activities and operations.
“Among businesses experiencing hardships because of electricity issues, the proportion of businesses owning or sharing a generating set was 20 per cent,” he added.
For his part, the Head of Policy Unit at the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Mr Ishmael Ackah, said the nation needed over $4 billion dollars in the next 10 years to permanently solve the crippling power crisis.
Source: Graphic Online