The Minority Spokesperson on Mines and Energy, Adam Mutawakilu has warned that Ghana risks facing a significant judgement debt if the controversial AMERI power deal is cancelled.
His comment comes in the wake of calls for the special committee, set up six months ago to investigate the deal, to present its report to Parliament.
Mr. Mutawakilu, claimed that the Committee has delayed in presenting its report to Parliament because it has not found any substantial reason to abrogate the contract.
“What has happened to the final report I do not know. I believe that they have not found anything to abrogate the contract and they are finding it difficult to bring that report on the floor of Parliament… If the AMERI deal is abrogated we might face a significant judgement debt because the company has been discharging its duties.”
Mr. Mutawakilu wondered on Eyewitness News why it had taken the Committee so long to present its report when the draft report was prepared about four months ago.
“When the draft report is written, the final report should be ready ..I do not know why they are failing to put it before Parliament.”
‘AMERI deal delicate’
In a rebuttal to Mr. Mutakailu’s claims, the Chairman of the Committee, Emmanuel Kwasi Gyamfi, indicated that the delays in presenting its report to the House are justified, given how delicate the deal is.
“The committee report is not ready. This is not just a simple issue… We cannot just present the report without doing due diligence,” he explained.
Mr. Gyamfi, who is also the Chairman of Mines and Energy Committee in Parliament, further indicated that although they had already interrogated the key players in the deal, those persons might have to be brought back to provide clarification on some issues.
“We are still thinking of bringing some of the key players back to meet the committee because as I said there were issues by the key players that we have to consider. Let me assure you and our cherished listeners that the referral that was made in relation to the motion by K.T Hammond, has been deliberated on several times by the committee. What is left is the committee’s final report which will be submitted soon.”
The John Mahama-led administration in 2015 agreed to rent 300MW of emergency power from AMERI at the peak of the country’s power crisis.
As part of the deal, AMERI was to build the power plants and operate them for 5 years before transferring it to the government.
The cost of the deal was $510m and received parliamentary approval on 20th March, 2015.
The approval of the deal was met with stiff opposition but eventually received endorsement by the legislative body.
It later emerged that the government had been shortchanged by AMERI as they presented an overpriced budget.
The reports said the government had paid an excess of $150m but state officials of the Mahama government disagreed.
The New Patriotic Party government which assumed office said it would look into the matter.
The Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko later constituted a committee led by lawyer Philip Addison to investigate the matter that that ended in controversy as it emerged that the committee had seemingly entangled itself in a conflict of interest position by accepting sponsorship from AMERI to travel and stay in Dubai for some days as it investigates them [AMERI].
The Adansi Asokwa Member of Parliament, K. T Hammond subsequently filed an urgent motion calling for a cancellation of the deal.
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana