Former President John Mahama has rubbished claims that his administration diverted funds meant for the construction of the Pwalugu dam.
Addressing National Democratic Congress (NDC) delegates at Bongo in the Upper East region, the former president the funds for the project had not even been signed as of the time he left office.
“We started the design, we’ve been working with the World Bank and we were trying to get the African Development bank onboard before we left office. Then somebody goes and says they diverted the Pwalugu money. It is not true. Pwalugu did not reach the stage where the funds had been signed onto.”
“The money they are talking about is another dam in Juale, that is on the Oti River on the border between Ghana and Togo,” he added.
Mr Mahama further explained that funds for the project were reassigned due to some compensation issues they did not get funding for.
“The Brazilians were going to finance it, and they gave us $250 million and they said we should add $50 million. So the dam was to cost $300 million and it was a 50, 60 megawatts plant. But we realized that the water was going to spill over into Togo.”
And so we asked the Brazilians to work out the compensation for the spillover into Togo “and it came to more than $100 million.”
“So it came to almost four hundred and something million. So it was not looking feasible and Brazil said they were not going to add any additional money. So finally they agreed that you can apply the money to a different project, but it should be in the area where the dam was going to be so the people there would benefit. So it went back to Parliament and Parliament approved it and the money was re-assigned for the northern segment of the Eastern corridor road. And that is what was being built until NPP came and that one too has come to a standstill,” Mahama explained.
The project was to be constructed as part of measures to manage the perennial flood in the area.
Aside that, the project was to serve agricultural purposes and for the generation of cheap power for an industrial enclave in the Upper East Region