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General News of Monday, 6 August 2018

Source: Class FM

New Ameri Deal: Akufo-Addo can be misled – Kojo Poku

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should not be blamed and condemned over reports that he was misled into approving the new Ameri Energy deal, Kojo Opoku, Chief Executive Officer of GASOP Oil, has said.

According to him, presidents work hand-in-hand with their ministers and the technocrats at the ministries, departments and agencies, and, so, there is a possibility that the president can be deceived.

Mr Poku noted that the president is not a technical person when it comes to issues of energy, therefore, he can only rely on the technocrats and his minsters for support.

He told Chief Jerry Forson on Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM Monday, 6 August that: “The president works with technocrats and also has ministers he works with, and, so, it is possible that the president can be misled, especially when he is not a technical person.

“With the new Ameri deal, cabinet and the Minister of Energy briefed the president on the deal and he approved of it, but maybe, after sensing errors in the deal, he sought a second opinion and arrived at the conclusion that he was misled. There is nothing wrong with it. The good thing is that he was able to seek other opinions and realised that he was misled.”

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo recently approved the new deal pending parliamentary approval.

A statement signed by Secretary to the president, Nana Asante Bediatuo, dated 25 July 2018, stated that: “The President of the Republic of Ghana has granted executive approval for the Novation and Amendment Agreement dated July 20, 2018 between (i) the Government of the Republic of Ghana represented by the Minister of Energy (or his authorised representative), (ii) Volta River Authority (VRA), (iii) Africa and Middle East Resource Investment Group (AMERI ENERGY), (iv) Ameri Energy Power Equipment Trading LLC (AMERI EQUIPMENT), (v) Power Projects Sanayi Insaat Ticanet Limited Sirketi (PPR), and (vi) Mytilineos International Trading Company AG (Mytilineos), for operations and maintenance of the existing 250MW AMERI Thermal Plant at Aboadzi, for a period of 15 years.”

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration recently began taking steps to amend portions of the controversial $510 million deal signed by the John Mahama administration.

The current government believes that there was no value-for-money in the deal signed by the NDC administration, hence the renegotiations.

The renegotiated deal, which has now been cancelled by the president, was expected to be approved by parliament when the House resumes from recess.

Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, told journalists before parliament rose a couple of weeks ago, that the House needs to “interrogate the figures to know that what we are doing is in the best interest of the country, which explains why [the debate on the deal has been delayed].”

“I spoke to the Finance Minister, I spoke to the Attorney General plus the Minister of Energy and we all decided to tarry a while and have a closer look at it,” the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said.

The government, on Wednesday, 25 July, laid a paper before parliament for the amendment process to start.

It was referred to the Joint Committee on Finance and Mines and Energy for consideration and report by the First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu.

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