Ongoing blackouts in Ghana are likely to linger for a while as workers in Nigeria’s oil industry intensify their industrial action.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, (PENGASSAN) has embarked on a severe strike over some unresolved industry issues with the central government.
The development is expected to completely shutdown all activities and operations in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector which will in turn affect all countries that benefit from the country’s oil and gas sector.
Reasons accounting for the strike include delays in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), job losses and the inability of the NNPC to meet piling debts to international oil companies which the workers say have resulted in the slow and unsteady running of their association.
Nigeria’s problem is Ghana’s problem
Already Ghana is facing a shortfall in the generation of power due to a cut in gas supply from Nigeria.
This has also led to intermittent power cuts across the country which authorities have declined to describe as a return of load shedding. The workers’ strike if unresolved, will therefore worsen the already threatening situation in Ghana.
A statement issued by the Power Ministry on Thursday also pointed out that a switch from gas to light crude to fuel the thermal plants, “had resulted in a stretch of the consumption rate to conserve the limited stock”.
It further indicated that the shortfall in gas supply coupled with the challenges in transporting crude from Nigeria to Ghana have contributed to the shortfall in generation.
The Ministry was however hopeful the situation would be restored soon as it has put in place measures to rectify the challenges.
President not to declare load shedding
President Mahama on Wednesday acknowledged the challenges confronting generation and supply of power in the country but insisted he will not declare load shedding.
He rather attributed the situation to difficulties being encountered in Nigeria which he said impeded Ghana’s ability to transport crude it ordered last month, into the country.
“Because of sabotage in Nigeria on the terminals, crude oil that we ordered last month has not arrived and so it has created some generational problems for us,” he explained.