General News of Friday, 18 December 2015
A Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, K.T. Hammond says the committee was misled to approve the controversial AMERI power project contract.
According to him, the Power Ministry failed to provide full details of the transaction to the Committee members.
The AMERI contract enjoins Ghana to pay 510 million dollars for 10 gas turbines over the next five years as part of measures to solve Ghana’s power crisis.
But the deal has been shrouded in controversy with critics claiming the government could have paid a lot less for the turbines.
The African Centre for Energy Policy first blew the alarm over what they suspected was an inflated price for ten gas turbines.
Months later, a Norwegian newspaper also reported that the actual cost of the turbines was 220million dollars and that Ghana had paid 290 million dollars more for the same turbines.
The Power Minister Dr Kwabena Donkor dismissed the claim with the statement that the 220 million dollars being quoted by the Norwegian newspaper was without the cost of civil works and other auxiliary works.
He said all those costs when added to the 220 million dollars bring the entire contract sum to 510million.
But the minister’s claim has been established by ACEP as untrue. The policy think tank produced a document in which the government had paid 15 million cedis to the president’s brother’s company Engineers and Planners to undertake civil works on the same AMERI project.
The Deputy Director of the Policy, Benjamin Boakye accused the government of misleading the citizens by creating the impression that the cost of the civil works will be borne by the AMERI Group as part of the 510 million dollars deal when in fact government had doled out 15million cedis from its coffers to pay for the civil works.
Government has been criticized for the project. The Minority in Parliament has not been left out of the criticism.
The former Deputy Energy Minister KT Hammond who was accused of seconding the controversial deal when it came to Parliament has received the biggest flak.
He told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Friday, the members of the Mines and Energy Committee which approved the deal were misled.
We were presented with three scenario, outright purchase, rental and the BOOT that we ended up with.
He said he had kept quiet in the face of the scandal because they had been misled.
I really need to understand exactly where we were misled. Quite clearly what has turned out in the public domain has been quite dramatic to me as it has been dramatic to all of us.
He confirmed that if the turbines were to be sold on the market it would have gone for 220 million dollars but they were misled into taking the BOOT alternative offered by the Power Ministry.
He said until the controversy broke, he never knew that AMERI group was only playing a middle role and that it was METKA which were to supply the gas turbines.