Government authorised payment of US$11.9 million for Pwalugu multipurpose dam, says BoG

The Pwalugu multipurpose dam is expected to control the perennial flooding in the Northern regions caused by heavy rains and the spillage from the Bagre Dam when completed

The Bank of Ghana has clarified that the payment of an amount of US$11.9 million to MS Power China International Group Limited, contractors of the Pwalugu multipurpose dam and irrigation project, (PMIDP) was authorised by the government through the controller and accountant general’s department.

At a recent sitting of the Public Accountants Committee of Parliament, some members questioned the Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Ernest Addison on why the BoG disbursed the funds when there has not been any work done.

But in an exclusive interview with Asaase News on Friday (10 May), the director of communication at the Bank of Ghana, Bernard Otabil, explained that the central bank only makes payments that are sanctioned by the government.

“Authorisation was given from the controller and accountant general’s department for payment to be made, and the payment was made.”

Otabil said as the cashier and banker of the state, the BoG is only a custodian of the government’s money and that the latter is at liberty to withdraw from its account.

“It’s something that we should all fully understand where the Bank of Ghana comes to the payment chain. We are the central bank and we are the chief cashier of the government as well as its banker and as you would expect, when the government wants money, it will withdraw it from its account,” he said.

Otabil added that the Finance Ministry has the sole responsibility to do due diligence on project financing and approvals.

“The Ministry of Finance approved the whole process and would make sure that all the necessary checks and balances are in place and have been followed through.”

He said the central bank has not erred in its role in the said transaction.

In November 2019, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, cut the sod for the construction of the Pwalugu multi-purpose dam project.

The project, which is the single largest investment ever made in the Northern part of Ghana,  would consist of a Hydro-Solar hybrid system of 60 MW Hydro Power and 50 MW solar power.

The two technologies would complement each other to provide reliable and stable electricity supply to the national grid. The Project would also provide an irrigation scheme covering an area of 25,000 hectares and improve water supply to the Northern parts of the country.

In addition, the multi-purpose dam is expected to control the perennial flooding in the Northern regions caused by heavy rains and the spillage from the Bagre Dam when completed.

Reporting by Nana Oye Ankrah in Accra

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