The National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has accused the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) of providing what he describes as a contrived explanation for the $12 million expenditure on the Pwalugu Multipurpose Irrigation Dam.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Newsfile, Mr Gyamfi asserted that the explanations provided by GIDA are untenable and do not justify the substantial payment made to a company responsible for the construction.

In May, GIDA in a press statement said the payment formed part of the terms of the contract that required the contractor, Messrs Power Construction Corporation of China (POWERCHINA), to be paid a total sum of $11.9 million as a mobilisation fee.

According to GIDA, the $11.9 million was used for a topography study, environmental impact assessment, soil test, and other feasibility and preliminary studies. They further claimed that the funds were part of mobilization costs, used for constructing access roads and the contractor’s camp site.

However, Mr Gyamfi dismissed these explanations, asserting that they were fabricated.

He pointed to the Volta River Authority (VRA) website, which indicates that the feasibility study for the Pwalugu Multipurpose Irrigation Dam was completed by the VRA between 2013 and 2018.

According to Mr Gyamfi, all the activities GIDA claimed were funded by the recent payment were already covered in the VRA’s study.

“This belated explanation from GIDA is completely contrived because when you check the VRA website, it says the feasibility study for the Pwalugu Multipurpose Irrigation Dam was done by VRA between 2013 and 2018.

“All the things GIDA claims this payment we are talking about was used for were done as part of the feasibility between 2013 and 2018. This matter is clearly indefensible,” he stated.

He vowed that, the NDC would pursue the issue until the payment was retrieved and redirected towards developmental purposes for the state.

The Pwalugu project, initiated in 2019, was expected to feature a hydro-solar hybrid system with 60 MW of hydropower and 50 MW of solar power, and to be completed in the second half of 2024.

President Akufo-Addo officially launched the construction of the $993 million Pwalugu multipurpose dam project in the Talensi District in November 2019.

In May, the Bank of Ghana (BoG) addressed inquiries regarding the $12 million payment made to MS Power China International Group Limited for the project.