Whilst civil society groups are crying foul over Energy Minister’s decision to extend the Ameri deal to 15 years after renegotiation, President Akufo-Addo has already given approval for the extension.
The president gave the executive approval to the deal just a day after receiving documents covering the new deal from the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko.
The government renegotiated the $510 million deal entered into by the John Mahama administration in 2015. The deal with Ameri was to provide an emergency power plant to augment power supply at the peak of the country’s electricity crises.
But the current government claimed the deal was overpriced, hence the need to renegotiate it.
The Energy Minister is therefore asking parliament to approve the renegotiated deal, this time, bringing in the Mytilineous International Trading Company to manage the AMERI power plant.
The passage of the Novation and Amendment Bill will mean the $510 million Ameri deal will be extended from its original five years to 15 years with government committing over $700 million into it.
This has generated huge controversy with many civil society groups, the opposition National Democratic Congress and energy experts flatly shooting down the deal, claiming it is worse than the previous one.
Senior staff of the Volta River Authority are opposed to the new deal and want government to pull a break on it because “it does not make any financial and economic sense”.
“In less than two and half years the AMERI plant would become a free asset to the nation under the Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) arrangement, and therefore there is no need for another arrangement that would extend ownership to any other third party interest” they argued in a statement.
The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) also said the new deal would not save the nation any money as being claimed by some government officials. Read more
While there is a groundswell opposition to the new deal, a letter signed by Nana Bediatuo Asante, the Secretary to the President, to the Energy Minister, stated explicitly that President Akufo-Addo is in support of the new deal.
The letter from the presidency dated Wednesday, July 25, 2018 and received by the ministry the same day was in reference to a letter from the Energy Ministry dated Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
“The President of the Republic has granted executive approval for the Novation and Amendment Agreement dated July 20, 2018 between (i) the Government of the Republic of Ghana represented by the Minister for Energy [or his authorised representative],(ii) Volta River Authority (VRA) (iii) Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI ENERGY), (iv) Ameri Energy Power Equipment Trading LLC (AMERI EQUIPMENT), (v) Power Projects Sanayi Insaat Ticaret Limited Sirketi (PPR), and (vi) Mytilineos International Trading Company AG (Mytilineos), for the operation and maintenance of the existing 250 MW Ameri Thermal Plant at Aboadze, for a period of 15 years,” the correspondent said.
Judging by the level of opposition to the deal exhibited by some minority Members of Parliament, the government may have to impress upon the majority to use its numbers to approve the deal.
Source: Isaac Essel || 3news.com