The Minority in Parliament has said the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia peddled falsehood in his claim of the amount of money paid to power producers.
Yapei/Kusawgu lawmaker John Jinapor said he should not be allowed to get away with the falsehoods.
Dr Bawumia while justifying the decision by the government to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for support at the launch of the Accra Business School IT programme in Accra on Thursday, July 14 said that an amount of ¢17billion was spent in paying for the excess energy that Ghana did not need but had to pay for due to the agreement signed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.
“Some commentators and analysts have argued that the Covid 19 expenditure by the government alone could not be the reason for the increase in the fiscal deficits and the debt stock. In fact, they are right, Covid 19 expenditures alone were not the reasons for the large increase in Ghana’s debt stock by the end of 2021.
“In fact, as I stated in my April 7 lecture, this year, in addition to Covid-19, there are two major items of expenditure that are critical in understanding the evolution of the fiscal deficits and the debt stock. These two items are the banking sector cleanup and the Energy Sector excess capacity payment.
“The excess capacity payment of 17bn cedis relates to the legacy of take-or-pay contract that saddled our economy with annual excess capacity charges of closed to 1bilion US dollars a year. These were basically contracted to supply energy to Ghana in excess of our requirements at the time. We were obligated to pay for the power whether we used it or not.
“The excess capacity payment of this 17billion includes the 7 billion cedi payment for gas resulting from signing of an off-take agreement for a fixed quantity of gas with ENI, Sankofa on take-or-pay basis which was way in excess of what we needed at the time,” he said.
But reacting to him, Mr John Jinapor who is also a former Deputy Minister for Energy said at a press conference in Parliament on Friday July 15 that “Not only is he refusing to accept responsibility, the Vice President rather decided to peddle falsehood, inaccuracies and blatant untruths. We cannot allow the Vice President to peddle such blatant falsehoods and go away with it. It is our responsibility as stakeholders and as a minority to set the records straight.
“Not long ago, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta the Finance Minister appeared before Parliament and in answering questions before MPs, he was categorical that total payment of IPPs amounted to just about 900million dollars, and this was for over four years.
“Let us even assume it is One billion, if you take an average of One Billion over four years that is 250million. So, where did his Excellency the Vice President conjure that so-called One Billion dollar payment translating into 17bilion over the period. Between the vice President and the Finance Minister who can we trust? The head of the Economic Management Team must speak with facts.”