NDC MPs boycott committee hearing on "over-priced" $150m AMERI deal

NDC MPs boycott committee hearing on "over-priced" $150m AMERI deal
Source: Ghana|myjoyonline.com
Date: 18-10-2017 Time: 03:10:04:pm
Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament

The Minority in Parliament has boycotted Mines and Energy Committee meeting in parliament considering a $510 million AMERI deal which government says was "over-priced".

Explaining their absence, Chairman of the Committee, Emmanuel Gyamfi, said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentarians do not want to be associated with the decision to demand a $150 million refund.

The NDC MPs in the previous parliament championed the Mahama government's push to bring in independent power producers to help resolve a three-year year crisis.

The NPP MPs then a Minority in parliament raised value-for-money concerns about the deal.

“This contract does not make sense,” then NPP Vice-Presidential candidate Dr. Bawumia summed up the Minority's view in 2015.

He argued that "the Egyptians are getting 1,800MW for $1.3bn, Abu Dhabi is installing 1600MW for $1.5billion and yet Ghana is getting 505MW for $2billion, thus going for less power and paying the most cost."

Following up on the NPP promise to review the deal, Adansi Asokwa MP Kwabena Tahir Hammond filed a motion in parliament which the Speaker has referred to the Mines and Energy Committee for consideration.

Mines and Energy committee of parliament

The Committee is to submit its report to the House for consideration and later a vote.

The Committee has met thrice, the chairman Emmanuel Gyamfi said but at the September 18, 2017, sitting the Minority failed to show up.

"We were surprised", he explained and relayed the NDC position that they would not associate themselves with the referral made by Rt. Hon. Speaker.

Despite a lop-sided Committee, K.T Hammond showed up at the hearing Wednesday to make his case.

Mr. Hammond told the Committee; 

1. Ameri did not provide fast-track equipment contrary to the agreement. They assigned their interest to a subsidiary known as AMERI Equipment which was registered 13 days after the agreement had been signed with Ghana.

2. Ameri Equipment (the subsidiary) did not undertake the construction but assigned this to a Turkish Company called PPR without the consent of the government of Ghana as required. 

3. A Turkish company, PPR, bore all financial risk, raised all capital and was paid with money government of Ghana paid AMERI

4. AMERI did not raise the loan from the bank as they assured.

5. Raised no capital from internal resources 

6. Raised nothing on their own.

AMERI simply paid PPR 360million dollars and took 150 million dollars for no work done, he concluded.

The committee adopted the reasons provided by the MP and recommends that Parliament approves the motion to retrieve $150m from AMERI.

The Minority claims a rescission of the $510 million AMERI Power Plant deal could result in a huge judgment debt. 

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