VRA workers push for Energy minister resignation over 'botched' Ameri deal

VRA workers push for Energy minister resignation over 'botched' Ameri deal
Source: Ghana|myjoyonline.com|Edwin Appiah|edwin.appiah@myjoyonline.com
Date: 06-08-2018 Time: 06:08:57:pm
Energy minister Boakye Agyarko with President Akufo-Addo

Staff of the Volta River Authority are pushing for the sacking of Energy minister Boakye Agyarko after he renegotiated a power purchase deal which critics say "makes no sense".

At a press conference Monday, the senior staff association said the minister is "absolutely not on top of his job"

The power purchase deal with Dubai-based company Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI) signed in 2015 under the Mahama government, is a five-year contract to Build Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOST) at a cost of $510m which the Akufo-Addo government has repeatedly said is inflated.

Photo: President John Mahama , CEO of the Ameri Group Umar Farooq Zahoor and the Power minister Kwabena Donkor

But after leading a process to review the deal, Ghanaians have been told, AMERI II is now a 15-year contract to be taken over by a new company Mytilineos.

Government has claimed the reviewed deal will save the taxpayer $405m, a claim which the Africa Center for Energy Policy has called misleading.

ACEP has said rather than making any savings, the new deal will cost the taxpayer $937.5 million.

The policy think-tank's critical views appear to have swayed public opinion against the agreement which is yet to receive parliamentary approval.

The Statesman newspaper closely linked to sources inside the corridors of power has reported, the deal is off and also claimed the President was misled.

General Secretary of the governing NPP John Boadu has confirmed media reports, government is taking fresh steps to review the controversial renegotiated AMERI deal

Managing editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper Ben Ephson is asking President Akufo Addo to immediately name and sack all those involved in the controversial Ameri renegotiation deal

In the heat of these criticisms, the Energy minister is facing social media pressure to resign and Joy News sources say the President has summoned his minister and deputy although it cannot be confirmed if the summon is linked to the controversy.

Leading VRA workers to push the minister out, the Chairman of the Volta River Authority Staff Association Cephas Duse told Joy News, the minister "lacks integrity".

He said Boakye Agyarko has exhibited "financial recklessness" and demonstrated an intent to "assist a foreign entity to milk the state".

Cephas Duse called on the minister to "honourably resign" to save the nation from the "embarrassment and disgrace". The Staff Association indicated they will be petitioning the president to sack his minister if he does not resign.

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