Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to move this important motion on the floor. I must express my profound gratitude to you and I do know that some of our hon. Colleagues on the other side were initially hesitant perhaps because they have failed to be guided by history.
Mr. Speaker, as you may be aware, on 29th August 2006, the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Electricity Company of Ghana started -- [Interruption] -- Mr. Speaker, I am introducing my motion and it is permissible.
Mr. Speaker, the Volta River Authority and the Electricity Company of Ghana started a power rationing programme in order to deal with some deficit in the supply and demand of electrical power in Ghana. Mr. Speaker, unlike in 1997, and to be specific, between February and August 1998, the country was plunged into darkness.
But at least, the Ghanaian public, and in particular industrialists or industries in October 1997 were given the opportunity to plan ahead with the pre-announcement as to what was going to happen following the cyclical period which is a matter for any student of geography to know, that beyond 1983 -- and later on we had it in 1998 -- we could anticipate it in 2006.
Mr. Speaker, this time round the Ghanaian public did not have the opportunity. Our industrialists did not have the opportunity even of an alert that this was going to happen. Mr. Speaker, I would shortly deal with the debilitating consequences of this darkness on industry,
social life and the economy. But Mr. Speaker, in moving this motion, I am very extremely optimistic that this debate would not be partisan and that it will be guided by the national interest and the future of our country.
In 1998 the hon. Kan-Dapaah, then Minority Spokesperson on Energy supported by the hon. Osafo-Maafo, and subsequently by hon. Hackman Owusu- Agyemang, variously described the National Democratic Congress (NDC) -- Indeed, the hon. Osafo-Maafo then in 1998 described it as a coma; hon. Kan-Dapaah described it as a disaster. Mr. Speaker, I am sure we would be unanimous today in describing it in same words, not in my words but in the words of hon. Kan- Dapaah and that of hon. Osafo-Maafo -- that we can describe it in same words.
With these, Mr. Speaker, I beg to move, that this honourable House is disap- pointed by the Government's inability to end the energy crisis, almost a year after it started and expresses its lack of confidence in the current handling of the crisis and urges Government to adopt an effective programme to address the crisis.
Mr. Speaker, my attention has been drawn to an amendment to my motion which in fact reads -- and it is significant for me, Mr. Speaker, with your permission, to quote:
“having been briefed by the Minister responsible for Energy on Government's plans to generate more power to end the power- shortages which have occurred in the country over the past two and a half decades -- [Mr. Speaker, this emphasis is mine] -- over the past