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30.09.2003 General News

NDC deplore crisis at Volta River Authority

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Accra, Sept 29, GNA - The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caucus in Parliament on Monday said it deplored the manner in which the government had so far handled the crisis at the Volta River Authority (VRA) describing it as poor and appalling. The Minority said the government was more obsessed with the personality of Dr Wereko Brobby than focusing on the real issues of managerial, technical and contractual improprieties and financial losses that had led to unreasonable high electricity tariffs. Mr Seidu Paakuna Adamu, Minority Spokesman on Energy, in a signed statement issued in Accra, expressed the Party's position on the recent hullabaloo at the VRA. The statement said the Minority viewed the resignation of Dr Wereko Brobby and the suspension of some Directors as selective justice and wondered what the Directors did that called for the sanctions against them while Dr Brobby as the then Chief Executive was absolved from blame. It said the Minority was also questioning why disciplinary procedures of the VRA were not followed with regard to allegations made against the Directors. The NDC said in its considered view, "the purported sanctions are unlawful and illegal so far as laid down procedures of the Authority has not been followed."

Mr Adamu said the Minority was, therefore, calling on the Minister of Energy, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom to make public the Ministerial Committee Report, which recommended "further investigations of the Strategic Reserve Plant (SRP) to assign specific responsibility for financial losses to VRA, with a view to determining responsibility for the delays and avoidance of further costs to the VRA". The statement said the "Minority is surprised that the government did not say anything about the status of the VRA - General Electric Agreements and and asked the NPP Government to tell Ghanaians the status of the agreements with General electric over SRP and why monthly rent of 1,375,00 dollars continue to accrue". It recalled the Minority's recent Press Conference at which it expressed disgust at the whole process of the SRP, which it said, smacked of poor negotiating and technical skills of Dr Wereko Brobby in the midst of competent and highly skilled engineers and financial analysts at VRA.

The Minority said it was dismayed at government's silence over the importation of the "Okono" crude oil for thermal operation at Aboadze from Sahara Limited. Alleging that it was done "under unreasonable pricing terms leading to financial loss to the state". The statement called on the government and the Minister of Energy to, as a matter of urgency, to publish the Ministerial and Security reports and to lay before Parliament the oil agreements with Sahara Oil Company as enjoined by the Constitution in respect of all international business transactions to which the government was a party.

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