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General News of Tue, 26 Jul 201621

$953m plant deal not in the interest of Ghana - Isaac Asiamah

A Member of Parliament’s Energy and Mines Committee says the controversial $953 million power plant deal government intend signing is not in the interest of the nation.

Isaac Asiamah says details of the deal contained in the document points to an attempt by government to short-change Ghanaians.

“We are disturbed and for some of us we are always getting disturbed and not convinced that we have a President who is condoning such acts that promote corruption,” he said.

The Energy and Mines Committee met the Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor and some officials of the Ministry over a new power deal to solve the ongoing crisis in the nation’s power sector.

The deal which will cost the nation the amount of $953 million will help the nation to generate about 400 megawatts of power.

The Power Ministry was hopeful that the deal when sanctioned by the Committee, will help salvage the nation’s worsening power challenges.

Speaking to Joy News, Mr Asiamah said the Committee had to turn Mr Jinapor and his officials away because they were not convinced with explanations proffered to them.

According to him, the deal is replete with several irregularities which smack of an attempt to dupe the country.

“There was an initial agreement and the total amount involved was an amount of $647.7million that was the initial agreement and the megawatt involved is 344 and there was an additional 56 megawatts that have shot the figure up to a colossal amount of $953million close to about $1 billion,” he said.

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When the Committee pressed for an explanation, he says the Minister could not provide “tangible reason” for that immediate jump in terms of the cost.

He was wondering why the government did not stick with the initial contract which cost the nation $647.7 million.

This, he says pushed the Committee to request additional information such as Value for Money documentation (VFM) which captures the opinion of the auditors who did the auditing.

He says government has refused to listen to reason because experts in Finance and Economics have said the crisis facing the nation’s power sector has to do with money.

“We have installed about 3,000 plus capacity of plants and all that we need is the gas and fuel, light oil to power the plants and the government have to look at how to generate the money to power those plants,” he said.

But speaking to Evans Mensah, host of Joy FM’s Top Story, Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor says contrary to claims, the Committee did not reject the deal.

He explained that the deal is the best for the nation because unlike other plant deals, this deal covers fuel as well as insurance in the event of a default.

“We have told the Committee that we are very open for a transparent deal and whatever the Committee requires would be furnished to them,” he said, adding, there is a proper value for money as far as the agreement is concerned.

“We have done the detailed, technical analysis and have also looked at the plants that are ageing,” he said, stressing the deal will go on after the Committee has sanctioned it.

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