The government of Ghana could end up paying huge judgement debts if it goes ahead to abrogate the AMERI power deal, the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has warned.
A report by a 17-member committee looking into the contract has recommended for a review of the deal or abrogation after raising red flags over a $150 million commission paid to AMERI Energy.
The report found technical, financial and legal lapses in the $510 million power contract signed between Ameri Energy and the Ghana government.
The committee said although the contractor that built the plant charged $360m, Ameri forwarded a bill of $510m in the B.O.O.T agreement. The committee said this is not equitable, informing its recommendation that Ameri should be invited for renegotiation of the $150m commission.
Speaking on the issue, Benjamin Boakye, a Deputy Executive Director at ACEP stated the government is treading on dangerous grounds because AMERI cannot be blamed for any wrongdoing.
“Renegotiating this deal will not be in our interest,” Boakye told Francis Abban, host of the Morning Starr, Tuesday. “AMERI was just doing business so they can’t be held responsible for anything.”
He added: “The conclusion that the contract should be abrogated doesn’t match what is in the report… AMERI used our own security to go get the money to address our challenge. AMERI will have to agree to the negotiation. We cannot compel them.”
According to Boakye, Ghana can only push for renegotiation “if there is a fresh evidence, otherwise we cannot talk about a fraudulent act.”
Meanwhile, the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration has rejected claims that the deal was overpriced. Immediate past Communication Minister Dr. Edward Omane Boamah argues claims of overpricing “cannot hold because plants are not sold at ex-factory prices. Moreover, in Ghana thermal plants are normally not procured directly from the manufacturers. Eg. KTPP, TT1PP, Tico etc.”
Dr. Omane Boamah added that “Per the agreement with AMERI, the Government of Ghana through the Volta River Authority (VRA) will only make payments to AMERI for power produced and supplied to the VRA just like any other Independent Power Producer (IPP).”
He further described the report as one-sided since no member of the previous NDC administration was contacted before the report was put out.
He described the report as “cooked” and a “hatchet job initiated by Mr. Boakye Agyarko (Energy Minister.”