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Business News Mon, 3 Apr 2017

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AMERI deal had value for money – Kwabena Donkor

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The AMERI deal signed by the John Mahama government to tackle the energy crisis had value for money, contrary to claims by the Addison Committee, set up by Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko, that the contract was overpriced by some $150 million, Dr Kwabena Donkor, former Minister of Power, has said.

According to him, an international accounting and auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, declared that the deal had value for money, hence it does not lie in the mouth of the Addison Committee alone to proclaim it did not have value for money.

Speaking at a press conference in parliament on Monday April 3, Mr Donkor, who is also Member of Parliament for Pru East, said: “Value for money is essential; it is about whether the project gives good value to the Ghanaian, both as a consumer and future owner of the plant. We are surprised that the members of the Addison Committee will think they are more qualified to make pronouncements on value for money regarding the AMERI deal than a globally credible firm such as PricewaterhouseCoopers.

“The (Addison) committee claimed there was no legal opinion from the Attorney General’s Department, but the Attorney General’s Department was strongly represented throughout the negotiations by both professional staff and management. The final agreement was witnessed by the Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

“We will pledge our support to the government as long as the issues of energy are being resolved in the national interest, but if they introduce partisanship in this way, much against our wish, we will be forced to respond.

“Members of the Addison Committee, including Mr Addison, visited Dubai, they had meetings with AMERI even after this report was written. We will want to ask, ‘who paid for their tickets?’ Who paid for the hotel accommodation that they used? We have the evidence that AMERI Energy paid for their hotel, AMERI energy paid for their flight tickets. If you are going to investigate someone, do they pay for your tickets and pay for your accommodation and host you?

“We are in a country of law. Our side will not want to see an energy sector divided between NDC and NPP, and therefore they should be candid with us.”

The 17-member Philip Addison committee which looked into the agreement concluded that the deal was inflated by $150million by the Mahama administration.

The deal was for the supply of gas turbines to Ghana, which were to provide additional power to the national grid to ease the biting load shedding exercise that plagued the country at the time.

The committee has recommended to the government to recall owners of the Dubai-based company for renegotiation and that if the company refused to honour the invitation for re-negotiation, the government should renounce the agreement on grounds of fraud.

Source: Class FM

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