Suspend re-negotiation of Ameri deal, its scandalous - Minority to govt

BY: Graphic.com.gh

The Minority in Parliament has called on the government to as a matter of national interest, suspend the re-negotiated Ameri Power deal saying it was riddled with scandalous content and a rip-off.

Mr John Jinapor, the Member of Parliament for Yapei/Kusawgu and former deputy Power Minister addressing a media briefing in Accra Tuesday said government should rather make the details available for broader public scrutiny before going ahead with it, resports Victor Kwawukume.

Useful links Ghana Politics | Ghana Celebrity News | News in Ghana

He argued that the re-negotiated agreement as presented had no legal opinion from the Attorney-General in addition to the fact that the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) had confirmed when it appeared before the Mines and Energy Committee that they had not approved the proposed tariff structure and that there was no value for money audit on the agreement.

He said the current agreement has a tenure of five years with a total payment of $510 million.

"It is important to emphasise that the government of Ghana is not required to make upfront payments" and that "at a monthly payment of $8.5 million, the government should be left with an outstanding amount of $255 million spread over the next 30 months after which the plant is expected to be handed over to the government of Ghana. "


Useful links Ghana news | Ghana Business News | News in Ghana

Mr Jinapor said the Minority in Parliament finds as scandalous, the attempt by the government to introduce a third party, Mytilineos International Trading Company to assume ownership of the power plant for an extended 15-year period at a cost of $1.035 billion when it was left with just two and a half years for the government to take complete ownership of the power plant.

Related: Govt seeks parliamentary approval to amend AMERI deal

for current Ghana news | Ghana Business News | News in Ghana

The government is seeking approval from Parliament to review the build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) agreement it entered with the Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI Energy) on February 10, 2015.

A memorandum submitted to Parliament indicated that the new transaction had a waiver of $52.7 million due AMERI Energy that the government of Ghana would have had to pay.

Besides, the memo said, there would be a reduction in the standby letter of credit (SLC) from $51 million to $37.5 million and cost savings of $405.067 million over a period, while electricity tariffs on end users would be reduced.

A Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr William Owuraku Aidoo, laid the memorandum last Wednesday, requesting Parliament to approve the novation and amendment agreement dated July 20, 2018.

It said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had given Executive approval for the novation and amendment agreement due to the gains to be made in favour of the country.

However addressing the press briefing Wednesday, Mr Jinapor said: "Even as we discuss this Ameri agreement, we wish to also bring to your attention yet another scandalous and corruption-riddled agreement being re-negotiated by this same Energy Ministry under the 450 Karpower agreement."

"This re-negotiated agreement is even worse than the Ameri re-negotiated agreement presented to Parliament by Mr Boakye Agyarko.

"Indeed the re-negotiated Karpower agreement stinks... with big fishes in government superintending the looting of the state under this new deal," he said.

He explained that the Minority will soon engage the total Ghanaian public on "this stinking deal and we shall make the details available to you."

"... to extend the Ameri agreement for 15 more years at this inflated cost when we have about two and half years for the plant to revert to government", he said was criminal and a "major blow to our nation. Everything that has happened so far to the Ameri transaction shows that the NDC did nothing wrong, and rather it is the NPP that has many questions to answer for the way they have handled this matter so far." 

"We, therefore call on the government to as a matter of urgency in the Supreme national interest suspend these deals and make the details available for broader public scrutiny," Mr Jinapor added.

Read also: VRA workers unhappy with AMERI Amendment Agreement

Background

As part of measures to address power supply challenges, the government entered into a BOOT agreement with AMERI Energy on February 10, 2015 for the provision of a fast-track turn-key power generation solution through the construction of a power plant.

Under the agreement, AMERI Energy installed 10 gas turbines and all related equipment and provided certain services related to the operation and maintenance of the plant for a period of five years.

The first BOOT agreement was ratified by Parliament on March 20, 2015.