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General News of Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Source: Kwesi Nyarko

Ameri “chop-chop” haunts NDC

In a desperate bid to blur the sight of discerning Ghanaians over their role in the alleged fraudulent AMERI Power Deal, the opposition National Democratic Congress yesterday organized a press conference, which apparently exposed them as being haunted by the rot.

Even though the largest opposition party has admitted it doubt the authenticity of the ministerial committee report on the Build Own Operate Transfer power agreement between Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group LLC and the erstwhile government of the NDC, the Minority in Parliament yesterday decided to respond to the contents of the report.

Kwabena Donkor, the former Minister for Power, who supervised the procurement of the deal, addressing the media, claimed that due diligence was done before the agreement w as signed. According to him, he does not understand how the previous government is being accused of fraud.
Further, the Minority in Parliament has asked government to abrogate the agreement if it is convinced it was fraudulent.

“The agreement went through Cabinet, the Committee on Mines and Energy recommended by consensus and was passed by parliament. If there was fraud, why wouldn’t the committee recommend straight away the termination of the contract and take criminal action,” Dr Donkor, who was booted out of office for his failure to fulfill his promise of solving ‘Dumsor’ by end 2015, quizzed.

The response of the minority NDC in parliament comes in the wake of daunting revelations by the Addison committee that the deal was overpriced by $150 million and must be reviewed.

Meanwhile, the World Bank is backing the decision of the government to review the AMERI power agreement over concerns of generation capacity excesses. The Bank believes Ghana’s current total electricit y generation capacity is higher than the amount demanded.

A 17-member ministerial committee tasked to probe the controversial AMERI Power Agreement, questionably procured by the government through sole sourcing, has concluded that the deal was not only grossly unfair to the interest of Ghana, but could also be considered as fraud.
Based on the observations of the Committee, it recommended that Ameri Energy should be invited back to the negotiation table to rectify the anomalies in the agreement and “for Government of Ghana to aim to claw back a substantial portion of the over US$150million commission.

In the event that Ameri Energy refuses to come to the negotiation table, the committee, chaired by Philip Addisson, a private legal practitioner,  recommends that the “Government of Ghana should repudiate the Agreement on the grounds of fraud.”

The Committee was tasked to re-examine the Agreement and make recommendations to the Minister and if need be, restructure the BOOT Agreement to ensure that the terms o f the Agreement were in the best interest of Ghana.

The Committee reviewed the Agreement based on its technical, financial and legal merits/demerits and identified issues that should form the basis for re-negotiation with Ameri Energy.