Breakdown of minority claim costing $34 million involved in Ameri deal relocation
The minority in parliament has demanded that the government provide a breakdown of the $34 million it says is the cost of relocating the Ameri deal.
Member of Parliament’s Energy Committee, Edward Bawa revealed that the government had said that the relocation of the deal would cost the state an amount of $34 million.
This, he said, came to light after the mines and energy committee met with a number of mining and energy sector agencies over the weekend.
According to Edward Bawa, the transaction must be stopped because the economy is currently facing a huge crisis.
“As a minority, we demand the breakdown of this cost, especially when the country is struggling to pay salaries and service our debt. The energy sector is facing serious challenges and therefore such opaque dealings must be stopped in the best interests of every Ghanaian,” he noted.
MP Bongo stressed that “the answers did not come” when the minority asked for details of the transaction at the meeting.
According to the legislator, “the company responsible for carrying out the relocation of the factory is a mytilineous international trading company, the same company that was involved in the novation and amendment of the Ameri contract which nearly defrauded the Ghanaians, but for the vigilance of the minority. ”
In March of last year, the government announced its decision to move the factory from Ameri located at Aboadze in Kumasi in the Ashanti region to help stabilize the national grid.
Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu during the presentation of the 2021 budget statement to parliament said that although the country has seen adequate power generation capacity in 2020, this decision to move the The Ameri plant as well as the completion of other power projects will help stabilize Ghana’s power supply. supply.
“Mr. President, in 2020 the country had adequate production capacity to meet the demand of domestic, commercial and industrial customers… In 2021, the Ameri plant will be moved to Kumasi to help stabilize the national network.
The $510 million, 300 MW AMERI power deal was signed between Ghana, under John Mahama, in 2015 and Africa Middle East Resources Investment Group LLC (AMERI) at a time when the country was reeling from a heavy energy paralysis. The agreement with AMERI LLC was intended to bolster Ghana’s power supply and help resolve what has become known as “dumsor” or blackouts.
The then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) felt the deal was too expensive. Civil society groups, IMANI Africa and Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) shared this view.
A Norwegian newspaper, Verdens Gang, then published a news article suggesting that some government officials in the John Mahama administration paid the exorbitant sum of $150 million to a middleman for little or no work done.
The story sparked a well of controversy and gave impetus to criticism of the deal by the NPP, IMANI Africa and the CEP. A 17-member committee led by attorney, Philip Addison, by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to investigate the details of the deal, among other issues, advised the government to review the deal with AMERI.
Following the recommendation of the committee led by Philip Addison to review the deal, the infamous Novated and Amended AMERI deal began.
Amid criticism, the deal reached parliament by executive order.
Critics were convinced that the executive approval given to the deal reflects the failure of thorough scrutiny by two important ministries – the Ministry of Finance (for the value-for-money analysis) and the Attorney General (for the legal implications of the new agreement). ).
Civil society groups, the Institute of Energy Studies (IES), ACEP, IMANI Africa and the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) criticized the deal as worse than the previous arrangement.
CAPE estimates the new deal would have cost the country more than $937.5 million.
At the height of the controversy, reports from sources close to the presidency indicated plans to withdraw the deal from parliament for a second review.
The deal was withdrawn and then energy minister Boakye Agyarko, the architect of the novation deal, was sacked.