Parliament blamed for ‘poor’ Ameri deal

Parliament blamed for ‘poor’ Ameri deal

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Parliament has been blamed for approving the $510 million contentious Amei power contract signed under the previous administration.

The emergency power deal has been a source of controversy since it was signed as experts and other stakeholders in the power sector describe it as failing the value-for-money test.

Energy expert, Kojo Poku, says legislators should have scrutinised the power contract to ensure value for money before approving it. “Parliament should have done due diligence,” he said Monday on Adom FM’s Burning Issues program hosted by Afia Pokua.

Mr Poku’s comment follows a press conference held by the Minority in Parliament daring the government to go to court over the deal if it is convinced the deal was fraudulent or overpricing

Former Power Minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, who addressed Monday’ press conference insists that the agreement went through Cabinet, the Committee on Mines and Energy, recommended by consensus before being passed by Parliament.

The conference was in response to findings of a 17-member Energy Review Committee chaired by private legal practitioner Philip Addison.

The Committee was constituted by the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, in a bid to put to rest speculations that the deal hurts the country’s finances.

After its investigations, which involved a trip to Dubai to meet with the management of the Ameri Energy Group, the Committee said the deal was overpriced by at least $150 million.

Speaking further on the matter, Kojo Poku said that the current administration should also constitute a commission of enquiry over the same power deal.

He, however, criticised the membership of the 17-member committee that was tasked to review the deal, revealing that that 14 of them were involved in the deal and for that matter did not qualify to investigate the same contract.

Meanwhile, Kwabena Donkor and Head of Programmes at energy think thank, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Bernard Buachi, were involved in a war of words on current affairs programme, PM Express, on the Joy News channel on Multi TV.

Mr Donkor had suggested that ACEP, which was a strong critic of the power deal, has only been doing the bidding of the current New Patriotic Party (NPP)-led administration.

Watch the entire show on which the host, Nana Ansah Kwao IV, interviewed Mr Donkor over the power deal in the video link below.

Background The John Mahama-led administration in 2015 agreed to rent the 300MW of emergency power from AMERI after severe public pressure to fix a debilitating energy crisis.

AMERI was to build the power plants, own and operate it for 5years before finally transferring it to the government of Ghana all at a total cost of $510m.

This was done on a sole-sourced basis after a meeting between the former President and the Crown Prince of Dubai.

The AMERI deal secured parliamentary approval on 20th March, 2015. But the contract was met with disapproval from energy policy think-tank African Center Energy Policy (ACEP).

Despite joining in approving the contract, the NPP Minority at the time said it was misled.

The media also jumped on a Norwegian newspaper report which claimed the deal was over-priced.

Following a change in government, the Energy minister Boakye Agyarko tasked a 17-member committee chaired by popular New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawyer, Philip Addison.

 

 

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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