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Wed, Aug

CABINET STOPS NEW AMERI DEAL

Business & Economy

The Daily Statesman can state on authority that Cabinet, last week Thursday, stopped the new AMERI deal being championed by the Ministry of Energy.

The Daily Statesman can state on authority that Cabinet, last week Thursday, stopped the new AMERI deal being championed by the Ministry of Energy.

 

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo upon his return from Togo, after attending the 53rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, met the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, on Wednesday, and told him he did not believe the new deal must be allowed to stand. He, however, agreed to bring the matter to Cabinet to be discussed thoroughly.

This was after the Economic Management Team had met on Tuesday and held similar opinion that the deal should not be allowed to go through because it was not in the interest of the country.

The Daily Statesman reported last week that the Energy Ministry’s solo driven new AMERI deal would not see the light of day.

Government on Thursday, July 26, had sought to lay a revised agreement from the Energy Ministry before parliament but members from both sides of the house opposed it and registered cause for the agreement to be withdrawn for further consideration.

                                              New turn

Now, the whole brouhaha surrounding the Ameri deal seems to have taken a new turn with the Dubai based company claiming it was not aware of the novation agreement that was put before parliament.

According to AMERI, it was not involved in any discussion with the Energy Ministry on renegotiating or amending the power deal signed with the John Mahama led government in 2015.

AMERI also says it has no knowledge of any commercial discussions between the ministry and the new party, Mytilineos Company limited.

But the Energy Ministry insists AMERI was aware and involved in the discussions that led to the revised agreement.

                                     AMERI and controversies

The history of AMERI in Ghana, particularly its association with the country’s energy needs, has been one embroiled in several controversies.

It was earning $150 million as commission on the original deal just playing the role of a middle man which was considered outrageous.

From Ameri Energy to Ameri Equipment to Metka which is said to be a subsidiary of Mytilineos, the deal is being owned and run by the same group of persons though they keep re-emerging under different names.

The new proposal from the Energy ministry was for Mytilineos to assume ownership from Metka which has been described as one company handing over responsibility to itself.

                                            Deal for review

There had been a public outcry against the Energy Ministry’s proposed new deal since details of it emerged on the attempt to have it laid before Parliament.

Meanwhile, majority of the public have welcomed government’s decision to have the new deal, which they consider as a ‘rip off, abrogated.

The General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu, has said even though the new AMERI deal has been stopped by a cabinet decision, the government will review it in order to ensure value for money before it is re-submitted.

“For the NDC, they can rejoice for a moment, but their time will come because going through the records and the kind of fishy deals that went through that transaction; we will rescind our decision for now but we will come back again. We will review that project, to make sure that the Ghanaian people get their monies’ worth,” he said at the 71st anniversary of the United Gold Coast Convention.

Mr Boadu encouraged members of the NPP not to despair over the decision, explaining that it was part of the broader scrutiny of all projects, both in the previous government and the current Akufo-Addo administration, to ensure Ghana is not shortchanged.

                                            President’s image

The Imani Africa president, Franklin Cudjoe, has noted with worry how some actions of government officials have had detrimental repercussions on the reputation of President Akufo-Addo.

Mr Cudjoe on Citi TV’s weekend analysis show asserted that government appointees ought to be more meticulous in their signage of deals or contracts. According to him, making wrong moves in those regards will consequently stain the image and credibility of the sitting President.

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