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Business News of Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Source: Starrfmonline.com

Executive Order on ‘new AMERI’ deal a rip-off – Minority

The Minority in Parliament has accused President Akufo-Addo of conniving with his ministers to rob Ghana of its scarce resource after approving the renegotiated AMERI deal by an Executive Order.

President Akufo-Addo on July 31 by an Executive Order approved the Novation and Amendment Agreement of the AMERI Energy deal, seeking to buy out the $510million deal from Ameri and hand it over to a third company, Mytilineos for 15 years.

The President’s Executive Order comes after the joint Parliamentary committee of Finance and Mines and Energy rejected the approval of the agreement before it rose on July 28.

A statement by the President’s secretary, Nana Asante Bediatuo 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 for 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 executive order comes amid the growing number of groups and individuals who have slammed the government over the re-negotiated AMERI deal.

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) wants Parliament to reject the renegotiated AMERI deal, saying the new deal will cost the country more after the 15 year period.

“We are committing to pay $50m for 15 years which is not on for the Ghanaian public and I hope Parliament will protect the public by rejecting the AMERI amendment,” Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Ben Boakye stated.



The Institute of Energy Security (IES) has also said the country risks paying more when the deal is agreed upon, in its current form.

Reacting to the Executive Approval of the deal it has described as “terrible”, the Minority through its spokesperson on Energy Adam Mutawakilu questioned the motive of the President in going ahead to approve the deal.

“Any agreement that came to parliament had a cabinet approval and cabinet approval is more authentic and important because all the cabinet ministers would have scrutinized the document and approve. When we talk about executive approval, it is only the president, [and] they could mislead him or his part of the agenda to rob Ghanaians of millions of dollars,” stated Mutawakilu in a Starr News interview.

The new deal

Under the new agreement, a new company, Mytilineos International Trading Company, will take over the management of the AMERI power plant for 15 years.

The new company has offered to pay AMERI an amount of $52,160,560, with the government paying the remaining $39 million to the Dubai-based AMERI Energy to wash its hands off the deal entirely.

Background

The John Mahama administration in 2015 signed a contract with Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI) Energy, to rent the 300MW of emergency power from AMERI.

This was at the peak of the country’s power crisis.

The power agreement with UAE-based AMERI Energy deal cost $510 million.

But according to the NPP administration, it found out that the government had been shortchanged by AMERI as they presented an overpriced budget, and were overpaid by $150 million.

The new administration thus commenced a renegotiation process to ensure value for money.