General News of Thursday, 19 October 2017
The minority caucus on the committee of Mines and Energy has insisted they will boycott the sittings on the controversial US$510million Ameri Energy agreement, insisting the appropriate forum for calling back the contract is the court and not parliament.
They’ve called the bluff of the MP for Adansi Asokwa and former Ranking Member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, K. T. Hammond asking him to go to court if there is a breach of the agreement.
“If there’s a fraudulent misrepresentation in the agreement we hold the view that the right place to go to seek redress is the court of law and not parliament. And so we are making this argument based on principle, based on what we believe ought to be done. And if the right thing is done you can count on our support,” Former Deputy Minister of Power, John Jinapor told Journalists.
MP for Adansi Asokwa and former Ranking Member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, K. T. Hammond has strongly put up a defence why Parliament should rescind its decision over the approval of the controversial US$510million Ameri Energy agreement.
At a meeting with the Mines and Energy Committee, Wednesday, over the issue, Hon. Hammond said issues of misrepresentation on the part of the Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group (Ameri Group) informed his decision to move the motion for the House to rescind its decision over the deal.
In a ten-page document read before the Committee which was boycotted by the Minority members, Hammond alluded to the fact that if the Mines and Energy Committee of which he was the Ranking Member during the Sixth Parliament were presented with full disclosure of information about the deal the country entered into with Ameri Energy, Ghana would have got value for money and wouldn’t have ended up paying Ameri Energy for US$150million for no work done.
Parliament on March 20, 2017, approved the contract agreement for a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) between the Government of Ghana and Ameri Energy.
The agreement was for the provision of a 250MW fast-track power generation solution by the installation of ten(10) GE TM 2,500 + aero-derivative gas turbines in Ghana. The agreement was dated February 10, 2015.
Per the dictates of the agreement, Ameri Energy was to deliver, install and commission the ten (10) GE TM 2,500 + aero-derivative gas turbines; operate, maintain and repair the equipment in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and prudent industry practice; ensure that the equipment is operated by qualified operators; be responsible for scheduled overhauls of the equipment as requested recommended by the manufacturer; provide on-site practical training to qualified and experienced employees six months prior to the end of the term of the agreement; and grant to the State access to the plant on biannual basis for the purposes of inspection of the site, the equipment and maintenance of records among other things.
The agreement had a clause that made room for Ameri Energy to assign their obligations to any of their subsidiaries or affiliates. However, such assignment required the prior consent of the Government of Ghana.
The said provision made it clear that if such an assignment was permitted by the Government of Ghana, then the government would not be relieved of any of any its obligations under the agreement.
The clause on assignment also provides that Ameri Energy may assign their right to payment under the agreement to its lenders. That means Ameri Energy would resort to borrowing to undertake its obligations.
The period for the agreement is five years with a total payment of US$102million per year.
But two years down the line, Hammond contends that per available documents he has chanced upon, it was proper for the House to consider and grant his wish.