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Business News Tue, 4 Apr 2017

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AMERI deal was the best for Ghana – Kwabena Donkor

Former Minister of Power has mounted a strong defence of the deal signed between AMERI Energy and the erstwhile John Mahama administration to tackle the power crisis at the time.

According to him, the deal, which was approved by parliament and cabinet, was the best for the country.

His comments come in the wake of revelations by a 17-member Philip Addison committee, tasked by Mr Agyarko to look into the agreement, 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.

Speaking in an interview on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen on Monday April 3, Dr Donkor said: “[The deal] was the best option: the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) in the circumstances where you didn’t have the money, $400 million, to go and pay for, and where, even if you have the money, there was a lease time of six months, the AMERI option was the best.

“The committee on mines and energy accepted that it was the best option, the Parliament of Ghana accepted that it was the best option, the cabinet accepted that it was the best option.”

At an earlier press conference held in the early hours of Monday, he indicated: “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.”

Source: Class FM

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