Speaker defers debate on 60MW Pwalugu Dam… As Minority accuses government of inflating the cost

Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye today, 6th February, 2020 deferred debate on a proposed construction of a 60MW Pwalugu Dam project when the Minority side of the house raised issues of inappropriateness.

The Speaker in a ruling charged members of both sides of the House to peruse the committee’s report and do all the necessary cheeks and balance before the house resume on Tuesday, 12, February 2020.

“Honourable members, both for ‘For and against the motion’ go and do your research to gather all the facts and figures so as to start debate on Tuesday.” He added.

Meanwhile, the Minority prior to the deferment accused the government of inflating the cost of the 60MW Pwalugu Dam power project it plans to establish at a cost of $360 million.

Even though the facility has received approval from the Finance Committee Parliament, the Minority led by its Leader, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, in a media engagement expressed his disdain for the details surrounding the amount.

According to Mr Iddrisu, the cost involved is equivalent to “three times Bui Dam, three times of best practices, three times of established figures globally and it can only be four times padded with fraud.”

He said best practices around the world place the cost between $1.5million and $2 million, citing Ethiopia’s 6,000MW Great Renaissance Dam which he says was built with $6.4 billion should have served as benchmarks for valuation of the project.

Describing the contract as a rip-off, he stated that the Minority will not be part of the process that approves the said deal.

“It is extremely exorbitant, prohibitively high and unjustified… It defies conscience relative to value-for-money and defines a government that parrots that it is transparent,” he added.

The Minority is also demanding that government provides all the details of the contractor(s) behind the project to ensure accountability and transparency in the value chain.

President Akufo-Addo, in November 2019, cut sod for the construction of the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam and Irrigation Project.

The project was in fulfillment of the President’s pledge to “avert the perennial flooding caused by the spillage of the Bagre Dam”, as the construction of the dam will be the permanent solution to the problem of spillage from the Bagre Dam.

 

 

Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

Writer’s email: franklinadonkoh@gmail.com

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