Ghana’s minority in Parliament accuses government of bloating cost of $360m Pwalugu Dam

The Minority in Ghana’s Parliament is alleging that the government of inflating the cost of a 60MW Pwalugu Dam power project it plans to establish.

Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu

Pwalugu is in the Upper East region of Ghana.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu in a media briefing said the bloating is at $360 million.

His comment is coming after Parliament’s Finance Committee approved the facility. He explained that the detail surrounding the amount is the reason they are unhappy with.

Mr Iddrisu said 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 indicated that best practices worldwide place the cost between $1.5million and $2 million. He used Ethiopia's 6,000MW Great Renaissance Dam as an example which he said was built with $6.4 billion. He said this should have been a benchmark for valuation of the project.

He described the contract as a rip-off and said 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.”

The Minority is also asking the government to provide details of the contractor behind the project. He said this will ensure accountability and transparency in the value chain.

In November 2019, Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo, 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.”

The construction of the dam is expected to be the permanent solution to the problem of spillage from the Bagre Dam.

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