Ameri Has Not Breached Agreement – Company Writes To Parliament
Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI), the company contracted by the government of Ghana for the $510 million power purchasing deal has denied breaching any part of the contract it had with the government of Ghana.
The company, has come under a rather fierce media trial with allegations from political quarters that it had perpetuated fraud in the contract agreement it signed with the government of Ghana, a contractual agreement which was officially ratified by Ghana’s Parliament based on recommendations from the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy.
The company, has however submitted a statement to the Committee explaining with verifiable documentary evidence that it has operated solely within the terms of the agreement it has with the government of Ghana and had done nothing untoward whatsoever.
It said if there was any breach of contract, it is the government of Ghana that has rather failed to pay for the company’s services for the past nine months although the company has continued to supply energy for the country at the cheapest rates.
“…Ameri Project has been the most reliable energy supplier to the country, with no shut downs and its contribution to the energy mix of Ghana is substantial. The value for money for the Ameri project is also most favourable for the economy of Ghana, with the lowest levelized energy tariff (confirmed by the PwC report).
At the end of the five-year term of the BOOT and upon its expiry, the entire plant becomes the property of the Ghana government, which will have the capacity to generate electricity for at least 15 years at a nominal operating cost. Ameri has taken the financial and operational risk to develop, construct and transfer this asset to the Government in an operating de-risked position, at a nominal USD $1 value. The Government’s only obligation in this transaction is to pay for the electricity it consumes”, the statement noted.
Excerpts of the statement also noted: “We wish to put on record that all actions of Ameri Energy, since its entry into Ghana, has been in compliance with the laws of the Republic of Ghana and indeed this Honourable Committee has had the opportunity to review the transaction and positively recommended the transaction to the House for approval and subsequent ratification. Mr. Chairman, any allegation(s) of gross misrepresentation in our view are totally misconceived and utterly false.
In the following paragraphs we present the correct information that clarify the position and remove the doubts cast by some quarters which are completely baseless and unfounded. These facts will further aid the Committee’s work under reference.
“It is highlighted that this is the only one and the very first opportunity for Ameri to appear before this respected forum, which is a part of the Honourable Parliament. We thank the respected Chairman for granting this much-needed opportunity to us which grants us the opportunity to put the facts right and make an honest and fair attempt to minimize the damage that the ill-informed campaign has made to Ameri.
“The only one point of contention in the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee and the motion is only highlighting the negligence or inability of a committee member to perform the statutory duties and discharging its responsibilities in a diligent manner that were entrusted to it/them by the Honourable Parliament. As per the binding terms and conditions of the BOOT Agreement, it is not the obligation of Ameri to request for or take steps that were required to secure the ratification of the Honourable Parliament but it was the sole and exclusive responsibility of the Government of Ghana to approach Parliament in accordance with the applicable law, the protocol, the rules as well as in compliance with the discipline of Parliament. Ameri has never been engaged in any way whatsoever with Parliament or any committee of it during the entire course of the transaction.
“This being so, there is no legal, contractual or a moral ground existing for the committee or the Assembly to question the legality, accuracy and transparency of Ameri’s conduct and the project. It is a matter of record which cannot be emphasized enough and cannot be questioned or challenged. It is a matter of record that Ameri has never given any statement or made a representation before any office/forum of the legislative or the executive arm of the Government of Ghana.
The above further establishes the fact that Ameri is a bona fide party to the transaction and it is the counterparty to the transaction that is raising the questions for its own self. It is unfortunate, to see that in this whole case, the Government is the claimant and the respondent both.
The Government is attempting to make a case against itself. Ameri is an international third party, who has a legal, binding contract with the office of the Government of Ghana, through the office of the Minister of Energy.
“After a careful examination and review of Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee, there appears not an iota of doubt that Motion in question is questioning and challenging the actions lawfully carried out by this Honourable Committee in the year 2015.
“It is also evident that the motion in question suffers from a manifest error, is totally out of context and misconceived. Some questions with regards to the assignment of the BOOT Agreement and the corresponding responsibilities of the Government of Ghana have been complete read and understood out of context and the same is against the spirit of the instant clause.”
The statement was submitted to the Committee last Friday.