A number of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana lost about 250 million Ghana cedis or 56.24 million U.S dollars in the crippling energy crisis that hit the country from 2011 to 2015.

This was contained in a study undertaken by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana and was revealed here on Wednesday.

Patrick Asuming, economist who presented part of the report, explained that each of the firms lost an average of 10 days in power supply every month.

“When firms are without electricity for any additional day, it reduced their output by 1 percent; again, because in a given month they were without electricity for 10 days, if you multiply it, it comes to 10 percent of output being lost. The use of machinery falls by just about 6 percent in the month and also the use of raw materials falls significantly by almost 14 percent,” Asuming disclosed.

Another economist from ISSER, Charles Ackah, who also presented parts of the study carried out between August and September 2016 among 885 SMEs, said more needed to be done to ascertain the full economic and social impact of the power crisis.

Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, Alfred Ofosu-Ahenkorah, observed that the report had brought to the fore the critical necessity of energy in economic development.

“I am getting convinced that for economic development, we need energy that has the following four characteristics: it must be available, reliable, affordable and sustainable,” Ofosu-Ahenkorah said.

“If you lose any of these parameters, you lose your energy value chain, you lose your energy system. And I believe that with the coming on stream of the gas fields in Ghana, we would be able to improve on reliability and availability,” he said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh