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Energy economist and former Policy Analyst at the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Dr. Ishmael Ackah has expressed concern about the length of the deal between government and Ameri citing that the agreed period in the re-negotiated deal will serve more harm than good.
The Technical Advisor on Energy and Petroleum Policy to the Minister for Planning and Development stated that although it had been approved by President Akufo-Addo using the executive order, he prayed government to revise the terms of the renegotiation since the deal in its current state was ‘poor’.
“I was very happy when Parliament decided to invite the Minister for Energy on the deal. Unfortunately we’ve also heard that it has been approved through executive order so I think there should still be more debate, parliament should still go ahead and invite… I think in the current form, the deal is not the best for Ghana.” Dr. Ackah stated
He however commended government for the intention to consider a renegotiation of the AMERI deal but stated that they should have taken in more public scrutiny and expert advice. According to Dr. Ackah signing an additional 15 years with AMERI was not prudent since government could have saved more by waiting out for the current deal to elapse in two and half years’ time.
“The intention was good; let’s renegotiate but not for another 15 years with AMERI. AMERI has done well, when you look at the past 2 years in terms of energy produced, I think the thermal side they’ve been the highest” he admitted.
The John Mahama administration in 2015 signed a contract with Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI) Energy, to rent the 300MW of emergency power from AMERI.
This was at the peak of the country’s power crisis.
The power agreement with UAE-based AMERI Energy deal cost $510 million.
But according to the NPP administration, it found out that the government had been shortchanged by AMERI as they presented an overpriced budget, and were overpaid by $150 million.
The new administration thus commenced a renegotiation process to ensure value for money.
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