New AMERI Deal Inconclusive - Oppong Nkrumah

A Deputy Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says the government is committed to ensuring Ghana benefits hugely from the reviewed AMERI power deal currently before Parliament.

Despite having the numbers in Parliament to push the new agreement through, the Deputy Information Minister said government will still engage and ensure the new deal will be in the best interest of the country.

Welcoming the barrage of criticisms which have greeted the new deal, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the agreement is inconclusive and government is still in the process of finalizing the agreement.

The house last week suspended consideration of the deal until the Energy Minister delivers four critical documents including a value for money audit on the new deal. Apart from the Minority, other civil society groups have questioned the details of the agreement.

In the new agreement, the government claims the new deal will save the country a whopping amount of $400 million over a 15-year period.

Under this agreement, a new company- Mytilineous International Trading Company will take over the management of the Ameri power plants for 15 years.The new company has offered to pay Ameri an amount of $52,160,560.00, with the government paying the remaining $39 million to the Dubai based company so they can wash their hands off the deal entirely.

But the deal has been criticized by the Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP). The policy think tank says the new deal is worse off than the one originally signed by the NDC.

The think tank does not understand why the government will seek to extend the contract agreement to 15 years from the original five years even if the tariff cost has been slightly reduced in the new deal.

The minority in Parliament insists their deal is far better.Minority Spokesperson on Energy Adams Mutawakilu said the deal will make Ghana pay double the amount for the original contract to AMERI.

He disputed the claim by the government that the new deal will save Ghana $400 million.

The Minority and ACEP say the government must withdraw the current deal from Parliament.At a media briefing in Parliament, Tuesday, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said the deal is inconclusive.

“The deal is going through a process of reviewing a proposal that has been received. The proposal essentially is to innovate and amend what we call the whole Ameri structure.

“It has been tabled before one of the arms of government and as you are aware Parliament is going through the process of validating the numbers put before us.

“What I can tell you is that in the end whatever will be done should and will be in the best interest of the country,” he said.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah also denied reported claims by aide to former President John Mahama, Joyce Bawa Mogtari that the ex-president’s salary is in arrears.

According to him, the ex-president has been paid his ex-gratia, all arrears of his salary dating July 18 2018.

“We do not have issues with that,” he said.