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Pwalugu dam: $366m for 60MW of power a complete rip-off – Haruna Iddrisu

Akpan

Feb. 12, 2020

The Minority in Parliament has once again criticised the budget for the Pwalugu Multipurpose dam which it claims has been inflated.
Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu on Wednesday insisted that the project is a complete rip-off and must be reviewed.
The Pwalugu Multipurpose project will consist of three main components, namely; hydropower plant, 60MW solar plant and an irrigation scheme covering an area of some twenty-five thousand (25,000) hectares.
The 60-megawatt facility is expected to cost US$366 million, but together with the irrigation component of the dam, the entire project is estimated at close to US$1 billion.
The project, according to President Akufo-Addo, “will be the single, largest investment ever made by any Government in the Northern sector of the country.”
But speaking at  a forum organized by the opposition National Democratic Congress dubbed “State of Ghana’s Energy Sector: Confronting Corruption and Ensuring Wealth Creation for All, Not A Few” on February 12, 2020, Haruna Iddrisu said: the Minority caucus on “the leadership of the energy committee [of Parliament] has indicated [to them that] $366 million for 60 megawatts of electricity is a complete rip-off and padded.”
Background on project
The President cut the sod for the commencement of the project on Friday, 29th November 2019 and stated that the dam will “ avert the perennial flooding caused by the spillage of the Bagre Dam ”.
The Volta River Authority says the project will commence in April 2020.
The entire project will be executed by a Chinese construction firm, Power China International and supervised by the Volta River Authority over a period of five years.
Parliament to approve agreement this week
Parliament will later this week, take a decision on the three agreements currently before the House in relation to the engineering, procurement, and construction of the Pwalugu multi-purpose dam.
Minority threatens to boycott deliberations on Pwalugu multipurpose dam
The Minority in Parliament had hinted of boycotting all activities related to the approval of the agreements.
The Minority MPs insist that the government must suspend the deal immediately.
Addressing the press last week, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu bemoaned what he calls the “inflated and padded cost” of the project.
The caucus has been raising issues about the deal since Parliament returned from recess in January 2020.
Pwalugu multipurpose dam needs no renegotiation – Majority Leader
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu , says the Minority’s concerns about the cost of the Pwalugu multipurpose dam project are misplaced as the scope of the work to be done warrants the budgeted amount for the project.
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