The ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight show’, FOX News Channel’s flagship primetime cable news program, hosted by Tucker Carlson is described as the “sworn enemy of lying, pomposity, smugness, and group thinks,” asking questions that citizens would ask and demand answers to them.
The show, which airs at 8 PM/ET on cable, features interviews and analysis that bring perspectives to what’s happening in America and across the globe.
The July 13th, 2022 edition has so far gathered over 750,000 views on YouTube, thus creating urgent reasons for timely verification. This episode caught the attention of Ghanaian Journalist, Nana Aba Anamuah who shared the video on her Twitter page. Other Twitter users have questioned the contents of the show with one of them, @sonofkharis asking: “He thinks dumsor is because of Ghana’s decision to cut down carbon emissions and possible food shortage because of the use of organic fertilizers?”
Dubawa dissected claims made within the show to determine the truth or otherwise. Findings in this report do not in any way support claims by the host relating to fossil fuel, energy, climate change, and actual occurrences in Ghana, even though for other claims he was spot on.
Claim 1: Three years ago (2019), Ghana was in great shape and had one of the fastest-growing economies in the world (5:02).
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its 2019 World Economic Outlook report highlighted many positive developments in the Ghanaian economy and projected the country’s growth rate at 8.8, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the world at the time.
Fact-checker: Jonas Nyabor
The World Bank in a 2019 press release indicated that Ghana was on a “strong path” toward economic growth and projected the economy to grow at a rate of 7.6.
“Economic growth is expected to be stronger in 2019, but over the medium term a more diversified economy is vital,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Ghana in the release.
The IMF around the same time in its 2019 global economic outlook presented Ghana as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies with a GDP growth rate projected to reach 8.8 by the end of that year.
Analysts attributed the growth to factors such as the discovery and operationalization of new oil fields, and new investments into the agriculture and industry sectors.
Claim 2: Last year (2021) Ghana experienced a complete shutdown of its national power supply, and blackouts have continued since then. (6:00)
True, in March last year, Ghana experienced a national interruption in power supply. Since then, there have been sporadic cases of power outages across the country.
Fact-checker: Jeffrey Nyabor
Ghana has witnessed power outages in the past, especially in the fourth Republican Constitution but governments through energy sector reforms were able to fix the crisis. However, on March 7, 2021, Ghana experienced an interruption in power supply to all parts of the country. According to the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), the situation was due to “a challenge in the power system which led to a total system shutdown”
“The Technical team is currently working to restore power supply to all Bulk Supply Points (BSPs) in the country,” the statement which was issued on Sunday, March 7, 2021, continued.
Several online news portals such as starrfm.com.gh, myjoyonline.com, xinhuanet.com, and vanguardngr.com all published stories about the interruption in power supply.
Since then, there have been sporadic cases of intermittent power outages across the country.
A month after the total system shutdown, the Electricity Company of Ghana released a power outages timetable for Greater Accra.
During the first quarter of 2021, Ghana’s energy crisis appeared to have resurfaced, resulting in several instances of power outage.
In February that year, the Institute of Energy Security (IES) predicted a complete shutdown of power supply in Ghana, arguing that the government was not prepared to take over the Ameri Power deal.
According to the IES, even though Ameri Energy had informed the Ghana government about plans to hand over the plant; however, necessary steps to ensure a smooth handing over had not been taken.
Before the national power shutdown in March, parts of the country experienced an interruption of power supply on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. That shutdown, according to GRIDCo, was due to “the closure of an emergency valve at the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo).”
On March 15, parts of Accra experienced a power outage, a situation the Electricity Company of Ghana said was “due to a technical challenge from GRIDCo.”
Days afterwards, the power supply to parts of the Volta Region was also interrupted for five days due to maintenance works by GRIDCo.
There were several instances of power interruption in 2021 and media reports on such occurrences can be found here, here, and here.
Meanwhile, it is worth noting that the 2021 incident was not the first time the country had experienced a nationwide power outage.
DUBAWA found instances in 2012 and 2017 where there was a nationwide blackout.
Between 2014 and 2015, Ghana’s national power outages reached the peak, largely because of a power generation deficit.
Claim 3: Ghana is now running out of fertiliser (6:38)
Even though data from the Ghana Fertilizer Dashboard records a reduction in inorganic fertilizer from February to April 2022, the Chamber of Fertilisers indicates that despite the reduction in fertiliser imports, Ghana can’t run out because there is about 200,000MT fertiliser as of June 2022, and some amounts yet to be imported into the country. However, the problem has got to do with the purchasing power. He says farmers can’t buy them.
Fact-checker: Kennedy Twumasi
There are two types of fertilisers– organic and inorganic fertilisers. According to AfricaFertilizer.org, Ghana does not produce inorganic fertilisers. It says only a small percentage of organic fertiliser is produced in Ghana.
The International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce indicates that Ghana primarily uses nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (NPK), urea, sulphate of ammonia, and organic compost as fertilisers. It says Ghana imports almost all the inorganic fertiliser it consumes. According to Bloomberg, the Russia-Ukraine war which began on February 24, 2022, is the reason for fears of shortage in fertiliser.
The Ghana Fertiliser Dashboard is a dashboard that visualises key information on Ghana’s fertiliser sector, and it includes all these primary requirements of fertiliser in them.
Its data shows the reduction of fertiliser availability across the country. Up from about 49,200MT to 47,163MT in February and January 2022, there was a drastic drop to 3,291MT in April 2022. This drop is the second lowest since May 2021. The previous lowest drop was in October 2021.
The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has also been cited to have on several occasions reiterated the need to resort to organic fertiliser due to the shortage of fertiliser worldwide.
However, to better understand the claim, DUBAWA reached out to the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Fertilisers in Ghana, Prince Akoto-Adiph to elaborate more on the claim. According to him, we can’t conclude that Ghana is running out of fertiliser because even though the availability has dwindled in the past months due to global challenges while there are some amounts of fertiliser in the country, adding that the issue has got to do the rising cost of fertiliser, which has exceeded farmers’ purchasing power.
According to him, “at the peak, the government was able to do 530,000MT of all types of fertilisers but as at June 2022, the fertiliser in the system was only about 200,557MT in the country.” He further indicated that there are a few more vessels of fertilisers on the sea to support production in the northern part of the country.
However, Mr Akoto says that even though there is a general shortage in terms of the total annual import, we can’t say we are running out of fertiliser because the available amount of fertiliser in the system is not being utilised due to the prohibitive cost.
“So, there is a shortage in terms of what we’ve done annually, but the little we have is also not being patronised the way it should because of the price. So, we are not running out because there are small amounts of fertiliser in the system, but because the purchasing power is the problem. The farmers can’t buy it,” Mr Akoto said.
Claim 4: According to World Economic Research, Ghana has achieved a near-perfect ESG (environmental impact score) of 97.7
Data from the World Economics Research indicates that Ghana’s Environmental Impact Score is 97.7
Fact-checker: Kennedy Twumasi
Environmental, Social, and Governance factors (ESG) are relatively new global terms that focus on environmental, social, and governance matters, which affect various stakeholders across society.
The environmental criteria consider how a company safeguards the environment, including corporate policies addressing climate change, and the World Economics Research looks at the environmental impact factor, specifically high emissions. In its index, Ghana is positioned at 24 with its ESP being 97.7 as claimed.
It explains that figures close to 100 indicate a low environmental impact for the country.