You are here: HomeNews2017 04 05Article 525568

Business News of Wednesday, 5 April 2017


Attempts to block renegotiation of AMERI deal shameful – Bright Simons

The AMERI deal signed between the erstwhile John Mahama administration and AMERI Energy was a sick deal requiring renegotiation by the new government, Bright Simons, Honorary Vice President of IMANI Ghana, has said.

According to him, attempts by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to frustrate the renegotiation of the deal by the Akufo-Addo-led government was disgraceful.

On Tuesday April 4, Mr Simons wrote on his Facebook page: “I’m extremely disappointed in the NDC that they would back the former Power Minister in this Ameri matter and be following him around in this disgraceful attempt to sabotage the fixing of the Ameri mess! Does the party really intend to return to power in this country? What at all is the NDC's political interest in seeking to frustrate the renegotiation of this sick deal? They don't want Ghana to save money and pass through the savings to the longsuffering Ghanaian consumer by way of reduced tariffs?

“What is this? You go and arrange an energy deal that could have been done for $300 million max. It ends up costing the nation $510 million. Every single day that this agreement remains in force Ghana is paying $300,000, when skilled business development could have reduced that cost to as low as $150,000 a day. Let us say through firm, skilled and cunning renegotiation the country claws back $50,000 a day. Is that not money that can be passed on to reduce the light bills Ghanaians pay in this country? Why should any political party seek to frustrate any attempt to save this country money? Does this make any sense? What is this?”

On Monday, Dr Kwabena Donkor who was the Minister of Power at the time the deal was signed, at a press conference mounted a strong defence of the deal and shredded a report by a 17-member Phillip Addison committee which has called for renegotiation of the deal. The Committee was put together by Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko to review the deal.

Dr Donkor said: “The [Addison] committee claimed there was no legal opinion from the Attorney General’s Department, but the Attorney General’s Department was strongly represented throughout the negotiations by both professional staff and management. The final agreement was witnessed by the Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

“We will pledge our support to the government as long as the issues of energy are being resolved in the national interest, but if they introduce partisanship in this way, much against our wish, we will be forced to respond.

“Members of the Addison Committee, including Mr Addison, visited Dubai, they had meetings with AMERI even after this report was written. We will want to ask who paid for their tickets. Who paid for the hotel accommodation that they used? We have the evidence that AMERI Energy paid for their hotel, AMERI Energy paid for their flight tickets. If you are going to investigate someone, do they pay for your tickets and pay for your accommodation and host you?

“We are in a country of law, our side will not want to see an energy sector divided between NDC and NPP and, therefore, they should be candid with us.”