AMERI benefited $150m without touching a spanner- ACEP maintains but Donkor disagrees

AMERI benefited $150m without touching a spanner- ACEP maintains but Donkor disagrees
Source: Ghana||Nathan Gadugah
Date: 04-04-2017 Time: 01:04:18:pm

The African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) is insisting the AMERI power deal which is costing Ghana a whopping $510 million to operate cannot be the cheapest any government can bequeath to its people.

Acting Executive Director of the Policy think tank Ben Boakye maintains government is losing as much as $150million on account of this deal but adds that the new government can do very little to reverse the contract.

He was responding to the claim by the Minority in Parliament led by the former Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor that the deal represents the cheapest any government can get in the heat of the power crisis in Ghana.

In 2015, the then NDC government signed a five year Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) emergency energy agreement with the Turkish company AMERI group to supply 250 megawatts of power at a cost of $510 million.

The deal was described as outrageous with a Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang (VG) and ACEP leading the crusade in chiding the government.

According to investigations the original cost of operating the power turbines was $350 million and was to be supplied by another company called Metka.

However, the AMERI group which is playing the middleman's role inflated the cost to $510million.

The deal has since been approved by the previous Parliament but the Nana Akufo-Addo governemt has promised to review the deal.

A committee chaired by Mr Phillip Addison and tasked to thoroughly investigate the details of the agreement concluded that the deal was worth far more than it should originally cost.

The committee claims over $150 million  had been over priced and there is the need to review the agreement.

Ben Boakye told Joy News it will be a difficult enterprise reviewing the agreement because AMERI did not put a gun on the head of the previous government to sign the deal.

According to him AMERI is 150 million richer "for not touching a spanner" in the deal.

He said unless the new government can establish a palpable element of fraud it cannot review the deal with AMERI.

But the former Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor insists that ACEP has no credibility to challenge the AMERI deal.

As for ACEP I seriously have doubted their neutrality, particularly in this transaction.

"At that time, the Executive Director is a known NPP operative. Today he is a Deputy Minister. The other director, was also a Regional chairman of the NPP, today he is also a minister for Lands and Forestry. So the political neutrality of ACEP is questionable.

He said PURC has given the AMERI deal a clean bill of health and there is nothing wrong with it.