Kwabena Donkor hits back at World Bank Country Director
National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Pru East constituency, Dr Kwabena Donkor has criticised some assertions made by the World Bank Country Director about power agreements signed under the NDC government.
World Bank Country Director, Pierre Frank Laporte has accused previous and current governments of doing a poor job in concluding power purchase agreements signed between 2012 and 2023.
However, the then-Power minister of the Mahama administration, under whose tenure some of the power plant agreements were signed, says Mr Laporte’s claims are not accurate and not borne out of proper research.
“I am just pointing out that he did not do proper research. Either he did not do proper research or as it is usual with the World Bank, a government in power does no wrong. It is only when the government exits that the World Bank comes out with all sorts of misgivings about their performance,” he said.
Speaking on the midday news on JoyFM, he said the dollar has a significant impact on the contracts and deals signed, therefore as at when the agreement was signed, the ratio of cedi to a dollar was considered favorable.
“Power is a very dollar-dependent sector, it is so dollar dependent. If you take the exchange rate of 1st January 2017, the exchange rate was 4.14 pesewas to the dollar. Today, the exchange rate is Gh¢11.193 pesewas to the dollar,” he said.
Dr Donkor stressed that he was surprised about the assertion by the World Bank Country Director because some of the thermal plant deals under their tenure were the cheapest.
“The Ameri power plant is the cheapest thermal plant in terms of tariffs in Ghana today.”
He added that the power project agreement was a 20-year period, so when it is leveled over the period, it is the cheapest plant compared to Tico, Sunon Asogli, and all existing plants.
When asked if he supports the call for a review to ensure value for money he said “it will be a step in the right direction.”
Also, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority (VRA), Kweku Awotwe said Ghana will be able to save more money if the country learns to negotiate better deals in the energy sector.
According to him, although investors are out to make profit and therefore will appreciate some guarantee from the government, the country could put in place “a competitive least-cost procurement plan” and go through with it.
A Deputy Energy Minister, Andrew Egyapa Mercer confirmed to Joynews that the Electricity Company of Ghana has been tasked to renegotiate contracts with power plants nearing expiration, but under a new regime that discourages take or pay.
This follows the danger ahead for power generation in the next three to four years, as most of the independent power plants will be off stream. The result will be a power crisis unless immediate steps are taken to renegotiate for extension of the power plants or build new ones.