$1bn excess power payment: Bawumia lied – Suhuyini

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Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Sayibu Suhuyini has said Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia lied when he said the current government is paying One Billion dollars for excess power due to the contracts signed by the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration.

Reacting to the public address given by the Vice President on Thursday April 7, Suhuyini said in a statement that “Dr Bawumia Lied about Excess Capacity Charges! As a young man brought up in a responsible and respectable royal home from the North, I feel embarrassed, when our senior brother is caught on many occasions peddling untruths.

“On Thursday 17th June 2021 I asked the Minister responsible for Finance a question about Capacity charges, the cost and payments made between 2017-2020.

“The Minister of Finance said; $937m was what was paid in 4yrs. Clearly Dr Bawumia’s claims that we paid $1bn for excess capacity annually, is a lie. For the sake of the Holy month of Ramadan, yesterday I was hopeful as a fellow Muslim that he will at the very least be truthful even if he was controversial. Unfortunately once again he was who people believe he is.”

Dr Bawumia said that in addition to the Covid expenditure, the banking sector clean up exercise and payment of excess power in the energy sector as a result of the contracts signed by the NDC administration, accounted for the rising pubic debt.

Regarding the Covid spending, he stated that the government needed to save the lives of the people hence the decision to prioritise spending in the health sector in order to restore the health of the people.

He said spending in all these areas cost the government ¢50.1billion.

But for the banking sector and the Excess Energy payment, he said the debt would be hovering around 68 per cent instead of the 81 per cent.

“Between 2019 and 2021 Ghana’s debt to GDP increased by 17.6 percentage points of GDP. It should be noted that without the 15.1 billion of the exceptional items – the financial sector and then the energy and Covid Ghana’s debt to GDP would have been about 68 per cent instead of the current 80 per cent,” he said.

Dr Bawumia further attributed the current hardships in the Ghanaian economy to the ongoing geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine.

He stated that Russia accounts for some 30 per cent of Ghana’s imported grains , 50 per cent of flour and 39 per cent of fertilizer.

The warfare therefore affected the local economy, he said.

“The increase in commodity prices has been exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Russia and Ukraine together account for 30 per cent of the global wheat export. The longer the conflict the greater will be the disruptions to global food supply. The country is also likely to slow global growth.

“According to the AfDB the price of wheat has shot up by 62 per cent since the war begun. The price of fertilizer is up by 300 per cent, the price of maize is up by 36 per cent since the war begin . Here in Ghana 60 per cent of our total imports of iron ore and steel are from Ukraine.

“Russia accounts for some 30 per cent of Ghana’s imported grains, 50 per cent of flour and 39 per cent of fertilizer . So we are directly affected by the Russia-Ukraine ware. Unfortunately, we do not know when it will be over. The global increase in fuel prices is causing hardship.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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