AMERI Deal: I felt bad Akufo-Addo had to defend his integrity – Franklin Cudjoe

Franklin Cudjoe Dopcks3 Franklin Cudjoe is President of policy think-tank, IMANI

Sat, 4 Aug 2018 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Imani Africa president, Franklin Cudjoe, has noted with worry, how some actions of government officials have had detrimental repercussions on the reputation of President Akufo-Addo.

In the wake of the controversy surrounding the proposed extension of the Ameri Deal and subsequently, an executive approval of the deal by the president, Mr. Cudjoe on Citi TV’s weekend analysis show asserted that government appointees ought to be more meticulous in their signage of deals and or contracts. According to him, making wrong moves in those regards will consequently stain the image and credence of the sitting President.

It was quite saddening he said, that President Akufo-Addo had to ‘defend’ himself and his family and disprove alleged attempts to malign him and to tag him as corrupt.

“I felt bad, listening to the President when he said that “people are trying to tag me directly as corrupt but I can assure you, myself and my family are not”. When these statements are made, it would appear as if each member of the government ought to be careful when they are making deals or signing contracts in the name of government because ultimately like we did to Mahama, we’ll say you are responsible and that is not what we should be doing”.

Describing the deal as ‘rushed’, ‘offensive’ and a ‘bad contract’, he questioned how the very same persons who vehemently opposed the signing of the Ameri deal under the then Mahama-led government are today pushing for an extension.

“I don’t know what we are rushing to do with some of these things, it’s as if we are in a race. Previous deals have been done that were awkward, I don’t see why you should, especially when you did campaigns and said that there were deals that were offensive in nature and in terms of the way they were overblown, the cost and all, no government appointee should be seen entertaining these kinds of thoughts. It reduces the President’s resolve and stature and diligence”, he stated.

“The President has been categorical that if you are in my government and you think you want to make money, that’s not the place for you. We don’t know yet but if the rumors we are hearing that the President was misled, it’s in itself an admission that some of these things shouldn’t have happened…..”

“I think it is offensive….it is just a bad contract”, he added.

Details of the renegotiated contract which indicated that government would make annual payments of $75m for 15 years ignited public outrage.

Under the original arrangement, the nation is contacted to pay $102m for five years. It emerged that President AKufo-Addo was misled into granting executive approval for the deal under the guise of there being an urgent need to have a bill laid in Parliament before it’s rising.

Under the proposal, the Greece-based Mytilineos International Trading Company was to assume management responsibility for the AMERI emergency power-generation arrangement negotiated by the past NDC government, in effect extending the original outsourcing agreement by ten years.

On his return to Accra on Tuesday from the 53rd session of the ECOWAS Heads of State meeting in Togo, the President quickly requested and received a further briefing on the new deal. This revealed that the agreement to which he had approved on July 31 lacked the requisite input from the Attorney General and the Ministry of Finance. The President had been misled to believe that both departments had assessed the deal thoroughly.

Minority in Parliament and other energy think-tanks including African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) have described the deal as “stinky” and “rip-off.”

Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and his Economic management team have also, together kicked against the proposed amendment to the AMERI Deal

AMERI Energy has likewise rejected the controversial novation and amended agreement aimed at handing over the $510million power contract it signed with the government in 2015 to a new entity.

The joint committee on Finance and Energy of Parliament rejected the new deal because it had no signatures from the Attorney General and Finance minister.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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