16th May 2024

Parliament last week deferred the debate on the contract agreements for the proposed construction of the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam February 11 2020.

“I adjourn this matter to Tuesday for any member who wants to do any research, any analysis or presentation whatsoever to get himself or herself fully prepared,” Speaker Aaron Michael Oquaye directed.

The proposed $993 million three-in-one contract agreement, currently before Parliament and pending approval, is between the Ministry of Energy and Powerchina International Group Limited. It is for hydro and solar power plants and irrigation scheme at Pwalugu in the Upper East Region.

Minority objects

The motion to adopt a report of the finance committee on the proposed contract was met with objection by the minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) on grounds that the contract agreements had to involve the agriculture and energy committees, rather than only the finance committee.

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, Joseph Yieleh Chireh and Mr Richard Mawuli Quashigah, all had issues with the adoption of the finance committee’s report, stressing that the report should be an inter-sectoral one as the issues with the proposed project go beyond financial considerations.

The Minority had resisted the approval process before Parliament went on recess in 2019, to allow for more due diligence on the deal, and when the House resumed, they threatened to boycott the debates on the matter, asking for a withdrawal of the agreements.

According to the Minority, the cost of the proposed project is rather outrageous.

The Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Kwame Governs Agbodza, also claimed that the reports are available to very few members of the House.

Ruling

The Speaker, in giving a ruling, urged the Minority not to embark on a boycott, but rather prepare adequately to make meaningful inputs into the debate with the additional time given.

“I adjourn this matter to Tuesday for any member who wants to do any research, any analysis or presentation whatsoever to get himself or herself fully prepared,” the Speaker said.

“The Minority Leader talks about not being able to participate even as we speak today. I will say I trust that will not happen because that will be another boycott approach,” the Speaker said.

The dam

The proposed Pwalugu Dam project will be in fulfillment of President Akufo-Addo’s pledge to “avert the perennial flooding caused by the spillage of the Bagre Dam.”

 

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