General News of Friday, 12 October 2018
Former president John Mahama has reacted to allegation that his government diverted funds intended for the construction of the Pwalugu Dam in the Upper East region, describing it as false.
The dam project, he said, did not reach the stage where government could access funds, before his government left office in January 2017.
Mr Mahama explained that his administration started work on the multi-purpose Pwalugu dam project for flood control, agriculture and to also generate 20 – 30 megawatt power to provide cheap electricity for an industrial enclave in the Upper East region.
He said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, started the design and was working with the World Bank, while trying to get the African Development Bank on board, when the party left office.
“Then somebody goes and says, they have diverted the Pwalugu money. That is not true because Pwalugu did not reach the stage where the fund had been signed onto”, Mr Mahama said.
Former President Mahama made this known when he addressed NDC delegates in the Bolgatanga Central constituency as part of his campaign tour of the Upper East region.
He explained that the money was rather meant for a dam on the Oti River, between the Ghana – Togo border, financed by the governments of Brazil and Ghana at the cost of 300 million dollars, pointing out that the Brazilian government provided 250 million dollars for the 50 – 60- megawatt project, while Ghana paid 50 million dollars.
Mr Mahama said it was however realised that the water that was going to be spilled over into Togo was going to cost in excess of 100 million dollars in compensation. “So for only 50 – 60 megawatts power, the over 400 million dollars was not looking very feasible and it was agreed with the Brazilians that the money should be applied to a different project, but should be in the area where the dam was going to be located so that it will benefit the people”, he stressed.
He said the then government, therefore, sought the approval of parliament and the money was re-assigned for the Northern segment of the Eastern Corridor road, which had since been abandoned by the NPP government. “And so, when they make accusations, they must get their facts right”, he added.
On the upcoming NDC flagbearership elections, Mr Mahama urged the delegates to avoid insults and acrimony, describing it as a friendly contest.
He said, like a boxing game, the 2020 election is going to be the decider between NDC and NPP and was confident that the NDC would emerge victoriously. Mr Mahama says he is committed to working hard to reduce the high cost of living as well as provide jobs when elected in the 2020 elections.