Cost of Pwalugu Dam outrageous – Minority

Haruna Iddrisu
Haruna Iddrisu

The Minority in Parliament has raised eyebrows over the 366 million-dollar cost of the 60MW Pwalugu Dam Project being constructed by the Government, saying it is outrageous.

“The Minority is vehemently opposed to the outrageous cost of the Project, which by all standards has been hugely and unconsciously padded,” Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, told journalists at a press conference in Parliament House on Thursday.

“…The Pwalugu Dam at 60MW, which is expected to cost a whooping US$336 million, is extremely exorbitant and unacceptable,” the Minority said.

“What this means is that the unit cost of the Pwalugu Dam will eventually amount to 6 million dollars per Megawatt,” it explained.

Furthermore, the cost of the Dam is highly inflated as compared to the cost of similar projects within and outside Ghana, Mr Iddrisu said.

“The Minority would not be part of any process to approve the project because it is a complete rip-off,” he said.

The Dam is expected to be executed by a Chinese Construction firm – Powerchina International Group Limited.

Mr Iddrisu recalled that in November, last year, President Nana Akufo-Addo performed the sod-cutting ceremony for the project, during which he said the cost would be borne entirely by government.

However, surprisingly, the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government had no budgetary provision for its construction.

Mr Iddrisu said soon after he had stated that the project was not captured in the 2020 Budget and demanded the source of funding, the Government hurriedly presented the agreement to Parliament for approval.

“Even more interesting is the fact that the necessary approvals had not been secured prior to the sod-cutting.”

“The critical question is: Why would the Government hasten to commission a dam-project when approval for the contract has not been given?” he asked.

Mr Iddrisu said the award of contract was not done in an open and competitive manner to allow for thorough scrutiny.

He said the Minority had noted with concern the referral of the Contract Agreement to the Finance Committee instead of the Mines and Energy as well as the Food and Agriculture Committees as stipulated in the Standing Orders.

He explained that the agreement was a Contract Agreement as captured on the Standing Orders and could not be considered by the Finance Committee, which ordinarily dealt with Finance Agreement in accordance with Article (8) of the 1992 Constitution.

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