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General News Mon, 6 Aug 2018

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New deal: Did Ameri bribe Ghana team? – Prof Asare

A US-based Ghanaian law professor, Kwaku Asare, has waded into the controversies surrounding the Ameri deal renegotiation.

In a Facebook post on Monday, 6 August 2018, Prof Asare wrote: “I want to know what happened in the renegotiated AMERI. Who was on our team? Did our team lack the knowledge, preparation, expertise? Did AMERI mislead or bribe our team? Was poor judgment exercised? If so, by whom? Was there an attempt to perpetrate a fraud or is there corrupt intent? If so, how? What role, if any, did the Attorney General, Cabinet, etc. play? Is the Chief of Staff monitoring deals signed by the President to ensure that they are in the interest of the country?

“What is the process, including reviews, by which an agreement transitions to a contract and travels from the ministry to the Presidency and to Parliament? Only when we know answers to such questions can we hold the right people accountable and ensure that such financial chicanery will not recur.”

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration recently began taking steps to amend portions of the controversial $510 million deal signed by the John Mahama administration.

The current government believes that there was no value-for-money in the deal signed by the NDC administration, hence the renegotiations.

The renegotiated deal, which has now been cancelled by the president, was expected to be approved by parliament when the House resumes from recess.

However, the move has created controversies.

For instance, the Senior Staff Association of the Volta River Authority (VRA) has described Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, as an “incompetent” appointee, indicating that contrary to his claims that Ghana will gain $405 million from the new power deal with Ameri Energy, the country will rather lose up to $472 million.

“There is no such savings anywhere in the new contract. This nation will be worse off since Ghanaians will rather be paying an additional cost of US $472 million to Mytilineos International Trading Company for absolutely no work done,” Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of VRA, Cephas Duse, stated at a press conference on Monday, 6 August 2018.



He said the amount is “beside the US$255 million we have already paid for the first two-and-a-half years”.

“Is it not ironic that in renegotiating a contract which is supposed to have been overpriced by US $150 million, we end up increasing the cost by US$727 million? Is this the type of review we were promised?” he questioned.

Mr Duse stated: “We think that this misleading comparison and computation was disingenuously done by the Energy Minister to deceive Ghanaians. This shows that the Honourable Minister is incompetent, lacks integrity or absolutely not on top of his job”.

The VRA Senior Staff Association stated emphatically that the Energy Minister's claim that the Novation and Amendment Agreement will save the country some money, is "misleading, flawed and inaccurate".



Source: Class FM

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