VRA to be restructured into holding company

Kweku Awotwi, Board Chair, VRA

The newly-appointed board of the Volta River Authority has been mandated to convert all non-power businesses of the authority into stand-alone commercial ventures, as part of restructuring efforts commenced by government.

The authority, by its creation, is involved in other businesses in non-power sectors such as health, education, hospitality and transportation, and is responsible for local government administration of the Akosombo township.

However, these entities are deemed to be causing a drain on the operations of VRA in the light of challenges confronting the power sector. The legacy debt, financial sustainability of entities and imprudent management of hydro resources are a few of the challenges facing the authority.

For these reasons, government is instituting measures to help the authority maintain and improve its power generation and distribution assets.

Inaugurating the new board, a Deputy Minister of Energy, William Owuraku Aidoo, tasked the newly-appointed board to spearhead restructuring of the authority, so ensuring that the non-power businesses are commercialised in order not to not act as a drain on VRA’s operations.

He said: “Government has instituted various initiatives, strategies and mechanisms to resolve these issues, some of which I am sure you are conversant with: that is, Energy Bonds, Cash Waterfall Mechanisms etc.

“One of the initiatives that will be one of your focal areas is the restructuring or reorganisation of the authority,” he added.

Former CEO of the authority Kwaku Andoh Awotwi, who now heads the eight-member board, expressed gratitude to the president for the confidence reposed in him and his colleagues, and promised that they would execute their responsibilities diligently.

He stated that his familiarity with operations of the authority will go a long way to help him lead the organisation to achieve the mandate given the board.

The newly-appointed board members and the Deputy Energy Minister (fifth from right)

“The way forward has been well laid-out by the president already, in terms of restructuring VRA. We are not here to change direction; we are here to support the current government,” he said.

Other members of the board include Mr. Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, CEO of the authority; Dr. Joyce Rosalind Aryee; Mr. Richard Obeng Okrah; and Nana Kobina Nketiah V.

The rest are Mr. El-Farouk Umar; Mr. Musah Badimsugru Adam; and Mrs. Janet Anane.

Executive Chairman of the State Enterprises Commission, Mr. Asamoah Boateng, congratulated the newly-appointed board and said his outfit will be organising training programmes for board members of state-owned enterprises to help improve their efficiency.

The VRA is the largest entity in the power generation sector, accounting for approximately 50% of total installed capacity, and generates about 70% to 80% of the country’s total energy requirements.

By: Kennedy Aryeetey Tetteh | thebftonline.com | Ghana