General News of Monday, 14 December 2015
The Deputy Director of Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) Benjamin Boakye is accusing the Power Minister of deceiving Parliament.
According to him, Dr Kwabena Donkor gave different figures as cost of 10 gas turbines procured from the AMERI Group to ameliorate the crippling power crisis the country is going through.
The Power Minister was cited in a Norwegian newspaper and website as having signed a dubious agreement with an alleged Dubai based fraudster Umar Farooq Zahoor in the process of procuring the gas turbines.
The newspaper claimed the Power Minister paid $510 million for five years for the plants which ordinarily costs 220 million dollars, which means the country paid 290million more than it ought to have paid.
But the Power Minister has issued a statement denying the claims.
Dr Kwabena Donkor insisted the 220 million dollars quoted by the Norwegian newspaper was the estimated cost of the turbines without the cost of auxiliaries, balance of plant, civil works, sub-station, installation of equipment, cost of financing, operation and maintenance.
The statement said “under the agreement with AMERI Energy, the cost of all these auxiliary works is being borne by AMERI Energy.
“From the foregoing, it is false to claim that the Government of Ghana signed a $510 million agreement for the plant, when it should have been $220 million.”
Discussing the matter on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show with Kojo Yankson, the ACEP Deputy Director Benjamin Boakye berated the Power Minister for providing different figures as cost of procuring and maintaining the turbines.
“If you look at what was presented to Parliament and the statement that has come out today it smacks of deception because if you told Parliament that it was going to cost us $411 million and now you are agreeing that the cost of the plant is $220 million then you did not help Parliament to even do due diligence.
“You misrepresented the facts before Parliament,” he stated.
He also berated the government for using the middle man-Ameri Group- when it could have gone directly to buy the turbines.
According to him, Metka the company which owns the turbines are being paid an amount of $350 million which means the extra $160 million has been paid to Ameri Group just for playing a third party role.
He said government could have gone straight to Metka or any other company to directly purchase the turbines without using a third party and paying more for it.
While he will not entirely describe the deal as corrupt, he said people will have to “exonerate themselves.”
A Consultant to the Energy Ministry Edward Bawa who was supposed to speak to the matters on the Super Morning Show could not be reach at the last hour host of the programme indicated.