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Parliament Refuses To Approve New Ameri Deal

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The Minority in Parliament has raised some preliminary objections regarding the Novation and Amendment Agreement of the Ameri Energy deal.

The new deal laid in parliament and referred to a joint committee of Finance and Mines and Energy is seeking to buy out the $510 million deal from Ameri.

The deal is to be handed to a third-party company, Mytilineos for 15 years.

According to the Minority spokesperson on Mines and Energy Adam Mutawakilu, the deal will cost the country over a billion dollars, arguing the country is worst off.

Meanwhile, the Minority is demanding documents covering approval from the Finance Ministry, a value for money report, a legal advice report from the Attorney General and a tariff approval from the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) covering the new deal.

Consequently, members of the two committees came to a conclusion that the agreement could not be approved before parliament rises, Saturday, 28 July 2018 but can only be taken when the House returns from recess.

The Agreement

The Energy Ministry laid the agreement on the floor Wednesday seeking a revision of the original 510 million dollars deal signed by the Mahama administration.

The government in the new agreement will pay Ameri $39 million while the new entity will also pay $52 million to Ameri on behalf of the government of Ghana.

Portions of the document stated that “reference is made to the public outcry in connection with the AMERI BOOT Agreement, coupled with the discussion of the issue in Parliament regarding the cost of the project.

“Much as the Ministry of Energy appreciates the importance of adequate power supply for the socio-economic development of the country, the Ministry is also very much concerned about the cost of the project in order not to overburden the citizenry with high cost of electricity.

“As a result, the Ministry initiated discussions with the parties, and renegotiated the lens of the BOOT Agreement in line with affordability and financial sustainability. These discussions were preceded by the formation of a Committee by the Minister for Energy to review the BOOT Agreement. The Ministry has therefore established a new contractual framework safeguarding the agreement of power and the continuous of the proper operation and maintenance of the plants by an experienced company, Mytilineos International Trading company AG for a term of 15 years from the novation and amendment agreement effective date, during which the provision of operation and maintenance services and all related services shall be undertaken by the company.”

“The GoG in view of the aforementioned purpose also wishes to adjust the contract price accordingly and establish a new financial equilibrium to reflect the extension of the term for the provision of the services and the performance of the obligations under the original BOOT agreement.”

The Mahama administration signed the $510 million contract with AMERI to build power plants, own and operate it for five years before transferring it to the Government of Ghana during the energy crisis in 2015.

This was done on a sole-source basis after a meeting between the former President of the Republic of Ghana and the Crown Prince of Dubai.

The NPP then in opposition described the agreement as a “stinking deal” which will be re-looked at when it assumes power.

A 17-member committee established by the Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko advised the government to re-negotiate the $510m power deal with UAE-based AMERI energy after a report revealed it was over-priced by $150million.

The latest move by the government also comes after the Attorney General Gloria Akuffo warned the Energy Ministry to dismiss plans of terminating the AMERI deal because it will end up in huge damages against the Government of Ghana.

In responding to two letters from the Energy Minister requesting for legal advice to suspend monthly payment to AMERI, the attorney general kicked against the move because “the deal is valid” and satisfies Ghana’s procurement processes.

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