Samuel Atta Akyea, Chairman of the the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, and MP for Abuakwa South

Former Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Atta Akyea, says he will ensure that Parliament investigates why there has been no progress on the Pwalugu Dam Project since it commenced in November 2019.

Mr. Atta Akyea joined the chorus of Ghanaians lamenting the allocation of $12 million to the project, which has yet to show any tangible results.

For him, demanding answers from the contractor by Parliament will be a good place to start instead of politicising the issue.

“The first point of the engagement is to bring the contructor, maybe with the consultant as well, and then we begin to grill the contractor that having received $12 million, if there’s documentary evidence to that effect, how did you apply it. Why have you abandoned it? Sometimes, we colour everything as political. But some contractors too can be very funny.

“They’ll receive the money and then probably they’ll abandon the project. I am not saying that is what the contractor has done, but let’s probe into what has happened and the first person we should engage is the contractor. Because the allegation is that it is not a politician who is a beneficiary of a million dollars, but a contractor,” he said on Monday.

He made these remarks on Joy FM after the Minority raised questions about the funds allocated for the planned construction in the Upper East Region.

Yapei-Kusawgu legislator, John Jinapor who visited the site over the weekend hinted that “We will activate all the parliamentary processes to retrieve that amount of money, almost GH₵200 million that has been dashed to this contractor.”

Samuel Atta Akyea agrees.

“Let’s find out why has it not taken off. If it is somebody’s ineptitude, we will find out. If it is a defalcation of public funds, we will find out. And then we will be sure that this is the reason why a major promise of this government has not taken off,” he told Emefa Apawu on Newsnite.

According to Yapei-Kusawgu legislator John Jinapor, the project in the Talensi District, which was earmarked to be constructed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has not seen any development with just a few months left in its tenure.

The project, for which sod was cut in 2019, was expected to consist of a hydro-solar hybrid system with 60 MW hydropower and 50 MW solar power and to be completed in the second half of 2024.

Addressing journalists at the site, the Yapei-Kusawgu legislator indicated that approximately $12 million had already been invested in the project, with nothing to show for it.

However, the contractor is nowhere to be found, and parts of the site have been turned into farming areas by locals.

The Works and Housing Minister added; “I will start also to find a contract. The parliament that I am a part of and Jinapor is a part of, will find the contractor. We need to get a proper committee to look into this matter because it is – if it is true – embarrassing that we are bleeding the nation. If someone can just put away 12 million US dollars, and he’s not even applied the money to a very critical project of consequence to this country.”

Earlier this month, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) addressed questions about the $12 million payment made to MS Power China International Group Limited for the project.

Some lawmakers had raised concerns that the money was released despite a lack of visible progress on the project.

The Bank clarified that it acted as a custodian of government accounts and followed proper procedure by releasing the funds after receiving government authorization.

They emphasised that verifying project progress after payments are made falls outside their area of responsibility.

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