AMERI saga: Minority want Bediatuo sacked

AMERI saga: Minority want Bediatuo sacked
Source: Ghana| | Naa Sakwaba Akwa | E:
Date: 07-08-2018 Time: 06:08:19:pm
The Minority want the President's Secretary, Nana Asante Bediatuo sacked as well.

The Minority in Parliament is demanding that the President sacks his Executive Secretary, Nana Asante Bediatuo, over the controversial revised AMERI deal that has led to the firing of Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko.

They have also called on the police to institute a criminal probe into the processes that led to the review of the deal that was initially signed by the previous John Mahama administration.

Parliament last month froze approval processes for the agreement following concerns the new deal will cost the country about a billion dollars more. 

The $510million power plant for five years was criticized by the then opposition New Patriotic Party together with allied policy think tanks including ACEP and IMANI.

The party promised to review the deal if it won power in the 2016 elections and when it did, a 17-member committee was constituted to investigate the details of the AMERI deal and provide recommendations.

According to the new deal, a third party company, Mytilineous, is to run the AMERI plants for 15 years instead the original five years.

Related: Revised AMERI deal rip off of Ghanaian tax payer – IES

But the re-negotiated deal by the government has left many displeased. Although the Energy Minster says the deal will save Ghana $400 million, experts have described the new deal as bogus.

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), IMANI Africa, the Institute for Energy Security (IES) and the Minority in Parliament, have all called on the government not to go ahead with the proposed deal.

Philip Addison led committee concluded the deal had been inflated by about $150 million and recommended a review

Some called for the dismissal of the Energy Minister but not many believe the President, Nana Akufo-Addo could have taken an action. The deal is off the table, but in a shocking turn of events on Monday, the president announced the firing of Mr Agyarko and asked Mines and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, to take over the Energy Ministry until a substantive Minister is appointed.

The Minority is excited about the development, but like Oliver Twist, they want more.

They say Mr Bediatuo who signed the executive approval for the deal before it went to Parliament cannot be left off the hook, especially when the Minister has been sanctioned.

Related: VRA staff jubilate over Agyarko’s dismissal

Member of the Mines and Energy Committee, Edward Bawa told Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gapko in an interview that, Mr Agyarko is not the only guilty party in the controversial issue.

“The moment the Ministry of Energy presented the contract to the Presidency, the document seized to be a property of the Ministry of Energy, it was now the property of the Presidency and so, whatever came out of that was going to be the handy work of the Presidency.

“So if from the Presidency, they brought this document…it tells us that the Presidency and for that matter, Nana Asante Bediatuo and whoever is associated with that, is as guilty as the Minister for Energy, therefore they should also go,” he said.

Mr Agyarko will be the first minister to be sacked by the president since he took office

For Mr Bawa, claims that the president was misled into giving his approval to the renegotiated deal is a cover-up and that there is no way the president can say he was hoodwinked into giving his consent to the deal.

“What information did the presidency not have on which basis they took the decision to give executive approval? If the presidency says they were misled, is it that they didn’t see the contract and memorandum that was given to them,” he queried.

This show of incompetence he believes, cannot be overlooked and that “it was a deliberate attempt to rip off Ghanaians and they were caught pants down and someone had to pay for it...and they realised the Minister was lower on the food chain could be sacrificed.”

Mr Bawa also believes there is a suspicion of fraud that needs to be investigated by police and all its allied institutions.

President of policy think tank, IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, agrees that some other persons beyond the Minister should also be made to take responsibility for the problem.

He is calling for a full-scale probe into how the presidency approved a bad deal before it went to parliament.

“Giving the multi-million dimension of this deal, it will only be surprising if Mr Agyarko is the only person being axed here.

“I would have thought that the documents should have been read by the lawyers surrounding the president and they could have advised that ‘this deal should not pass’.

"Before being asked to give executive approval, the lawyers around the president should have known that this had dimensions beyond the Energy Minister and they could have avoided his embarrassment,” he said.

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