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Parliament defers debate on proposed Pwalugu Dam to next Tuesday

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Parliament on Thursday deferred the debate on the contract agreements for the proposed construction of the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam to next week Tuesday, 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 the House pending approval is between Ghana (Ministry of Energy) and Powerchina International Group Limited are for hydro and solar power plants and irrigation scheme at Pwalugu, in Ghana’s Upper East Region.

The motion to adopt a report of the Finance Committee on the proposed contract for the debate on the proposed contract was met with objection by the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Side on the grounds that the deals, which are contract agreements, had to involve the Agriculture and Energy Committees, rather than only the Finance Committee

Besides, Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, MP for Adaklu, argued that the reports was available to very few members of the House.

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 for this meeting, it threatened to boycott debates on the matter, asking for a withdrawal of the agreements.

Among other issues, the Minority says that the cost of the proposed project was rather outrageous.

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu; Wa West MP Joseph Yieleh Chireh and Mr Richard Mawuli Quashigah, MP for Keta, all had issues with the adoption of the Finance Committee’s report, on the grounds that the report should be an inter-sectoral  report, as the issues with the proposed project went beyond financial considerations.

The Speaker in giving a ruling, urged the Minority not to go on a boycott, but rather prepare adequately to meaningful inputs in to the debate with the more 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, adding that participate in the debate rather than boycotting it.

The Minority Leader talked about not being able to participate even at the time he spoke.

“I will say I trust that will not happen because that will be another boycott approach, which I will not recommend,” the Speaker said.

The proposed Pwalugu Dam Project would be in fulfillment of President Akufo-Addo’s pledge to “avert the perennial flooding caused by the spillage of the Bagre Dam,” the Speaker said.

Source: GNA

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