General News of Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Editor of Norwegian newspaper, Verdens Gang (VG), Amund Bakke Foss has diffused claims by the Power Minister, Kwabena Donkor that the Government of Ghana and the Ministry has not made any payments to the AMERI group for the provision of a power plant.
The Editor whose newspaper unearthed how Ghana is being made to pay more than double the price of the power plant on the market speaking on Adom FM’s Morning Show, ‘Dwaso Nsem’ Monday said that Kwabena Donkor confirmed to him in an interview in his office in Accra that an unspecified amount of money was paid to the AMERI Group.
“Mr. Donkor today confirmed that some amount was paid as he stated, upfront but we don’t know the amount and we don’t know how much has gone…,” he said.
This statement, he said, was made by the minister during his interview with him on 9th September, 2015 in his office in Accra.
His statement is parallel to a Kwabena Donkor signed statement which said that ‘the Government of Ghana has not made ANY PAYMENTS to AMERI and will not be making any payments for the cost of the equipment.’
“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),” the statement added.
But Bakke Foss insisted that unspecified amount was paid to the company before the plant which is meant to be a panacea to the persistent Dumsor crisis was delivered to Ghana.
A publication by the Norwegian newspaper, which has enjoyed widespread circulation in Ghanaian media, among other things reports that one Umar Farooq Zahoor, a top official at AMERI is a wanted fraudster.
Farooq Zahoor according to VG is on the wanted list of Norwegian police and Interpol for his lead roles in various scams in Norway and other countries.
The publication also alleged that the $510 million power deal could have been gotten at lower cost — quoting about $220 million as the going price for the 10 power generators on wheels.
Bakke Foss however confirmed that the deal between Government of Ghana and the AMERI Group was a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) agreement for the ten gas turbines which is already in Ghana.