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Business News Mon, 30 Jul 2018

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VRA workers reject Ameri Deal extension

THE SENIOR Staff Association of the Volta River Authority (VRA) has registered its displeasure over Government’s move to amend and extend the controversial Ameri power deal believed to have been over-bloated by $150 million in 2015 when it was first signed.

In a statement jointly signed by its National Chairman and VRA Divisional Chairman of the Public Services Workers Union of the Trades Union Congress, Cephas Duse and Frank Kaba Adatuu, respectively, the Association explained that in less than two-and-half years from now, the Ameri plant would become a free asset to the nation under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer arrangement.

Thus, it added that, there was therefore no need for another arrangement that would extend ownership to any other third party interest, stressing that “the nation has surplus generation capacity and does not require any new long term take or pay arrangement.”

According to the Association, the move to extend the Ameri deal “is inimical to the interest of the nation.”

It stated emphatically that “the proposed new arrangement before Parliament would be more expensive than the current arrangement and does not make any financial and economic sense to the nation.”

It marveled at the manner in which the Energy Ministry “rushed the Bill to Parliament, for pushing its consideration and approval.”

The statement noted “We, the Staff Group of VRA are vehemently opposed to the passing of the Bill because it will bring more hardship to the Volta River Authority and the good people of our dear country-Ghana.”

Renegotiation

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government, it would be recalled, recently began the renegotiation process of the $510 million Ameri power deal introduced by the erstwhile President John Mahama National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration in 2015 when Ghana was experiencing severe electricity crisis.

President Akufo-Addo’s government which disproved the agreement in 2015, when in opposition, has claimed that the renegotiation will save Ghana a colossal amount of about $410 million.

ACEP Disagrees

However, the Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) has dismissed government’s claims that the new deal will save the country $410 million.

According to ACEP which criticized the deal in 2015, the current arrangement by the NPP Government is worse than what the NDC bargained, urging Parliament to reject the renegotiated arrangement.

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

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