Kwabena Donkor challenges World Bank over energy debt

Story: Yaw Takyi

Former Minister of Power, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, has described as unfortunate, comments by the World Bank Country Director, Pierre Frank Laporte, which suggest that the erstwhile Mahama administration wasted money by signing burdensome Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).

Mr. Laporte claimed the Mahama government equally contributed to Ghana’s economic woes due to the Power Purchase Agreements signed under a take-or-pay agreement, which committed Ghana to pay for excess energy it did not need.

Responding to this, Dr. Donkor questioned why the World Bank Country Director would blame the then National Democratic Congress (NDC) government when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been in power close to seven years.

“The current Energy Minister, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, will tell you that on the NDC’s’ side, a number of us were quietly working together as a team, as a country to find a way out of our energy conundrum. And then this gentleman [Pierre Frank Laporte] comes in, in the cloak of the World Bank but as a partisan to throw a hammer into the works with a blame game.

He added, “NPP has been in power for at least 6 years into the 7th year and to still blame the past administration, blame the PPAs for all the challenges especially relating it to the fact that Ghana has its debt situation because of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) is unfortunate”.

The former Energy Minister accused the World Bank Country Director of seeking political friends in Ghana hence his accusations.

“This is a politician who needs friends in the neighbourhood for his political edges ambitions,” he claimed.

He explained that it’s impossible to get the best value for money when things are done under conditions of emergency.

“He (Laporte) said we have contracted very expensive PPAs and I will tell you, and this has been proven by a PWC value for money review that, the Ameri Power Plant levelised over the 20 years is still the cheapest thermal plant in Ghana… Anywhere in the world, when you have to do things under conditions of emergency you often do not get the best value for money,” Dr. Kwabena Donkor stated.

He said the deteriorating exchange rate was  the major contributing factor to the huge debt crippling the energy sector.

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