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The former deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor has pointed out that the committee charged to review the AMERI power deal which recommended abrogation of the deal on grounds of fraud, is too partisan to be taken seriously.
The 17-member committee, which has been working under the auspices of the Energy Minister since February 1, 2017, said Ghana was made to pay $150 million extra in commission to Africa & Middle East Resources Investment (AMERI) Group LLC for the construction of a power plant in the heat of Ghana’s power crisis.
It is chaired by a lawyer and member of the governing New Patriotic Party, Philip Addison, who contested and lost the Klottey Korle seat in 2016.
Mr. Jinapor expressed concern about Addison’s role on Eyewitness News when he commented on the committee’s findings saying he was not even aware such a committee had been set up to review the AMERI power deal.
“I am worried about the Chairman of the committee. He is very political. He is a core NPP politician and even before this committee was set up, the NPP made it a campaign promise to find fault with the AMERI deal. You can’t be a complainant and be a judge at the same time.”
“If you get a politician who is a known NPP man to do a so-called report, certainly it is tainted with politics and that is a fact,” Mr. Jinapor added with respect to Mr. Addison.
He also questioned why key players in this deal, like himself and the former Power Minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, were not engaged by the committee.
“The Minister who led this deal, at least just give him a hearing. Listen to him… all these things have not been done. I haven’t been spoken to. My Minster has not been spoken to. I am also worried about the Chairman so I find this report very political if indeed it is an authentic report from the Minister.”
Due diligence was carried out
Another point of contention from the committee was that due diligence was disregarded as there was no legal opinion on the deal from the Attorney General at the time.
But Mr. Jinapor retorted that the deal went through Cabinet and the AG was part of Cabinet. This notwithstanding, opinion from the AG’s office was not mandatory, the former Deputy Minister added.
“In considering this deal, the whole project was taken to cabinet. Cabinet considered the entire document, deliberated over it, the AG was part of it and they took a firm decision saying the deal was a good one. From Cabinet, it went to Parliament. Parliament considered it and thought it was a good deal. We did the right thing. We went through the processes,” Mr. Jinapor explained.
The 17-member committee was constituted on grounds of the $150 million anomaly, as well other financial, technical and legal issues, and insisted that AMERI must be made to re-negotiate the deal or be rejected by Government on grounds of fraud.
The committee maintains that AMERI in its agreement with government dated February 10th, 2015, charged Ghana significantly higher than what it was charged by the Turkish registered company, PPR, which financed and executed the project.
The Turkish firm pegged the total cost of the project which is to span over a 5 year period at a maximum of 360 million dollars.
However, the Build Operate Own Transfer (BOOT) agreement signed between government and AMERI was pegged at a minimum of 510 million dollars.
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