Go ahead! Review Ameri deal if… – World Bank backs gov’t

The World Bank has backed government’s decision to review the Ameri Energy deal over issues of overpayment estimated at $150 million.

The Bank said the country could be generating an excess power of over 1400 megawatts if current agreements with some independent power producers are not delayed.

In a discussion with Joy Business George Wiafe, World Bank Country Director, Henry Kerali, said they believe “government is right to review the [Ameri] contract.”

The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government has indicated its preparedness to review all 42 power deals signed by the previous administration.

At his first State of the Nation Address, the President said he inherited a heavily indebted energy sector with a debt estimate of $2.4 billion.

To this effect, Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko set up a 17-member Energy Review Committee chaired by private legal practitioner Philip Addison.

The Committee was tasked to review the Ameri Energy power deal entered into by the erstwhile President John Mahama government to shore up the nation’s power deficit. This was after close to four years of erratic power supply known locally as dumsor.

After its investigations which involved a trip to Dubai to meet with management of the Ameri Energy Group, the Committee said the deal was overpriced by $150 million.

It suggested to government to invite the company to the negotiating table to reconsider the deal.

But the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs are dissatisfied with the Committee’s finding, accusing it of “mudslinging the heritage of the party.”

Chairman of Ameri Agreement Review Committee, Philip Addison

South Dayi MP, Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story programme Monday, the government can head to court if it is unhappy with the agreement.

He accused the Committee of double standard, saying its members were sponsored to Dubai by the Ameri Energy Group.

“You have the clear intention to review a deal, to unearth any untoward…why will you travel on the largesse of the entity?” he quizzed, challenging the Committee to dispute his claim.

But the World Bank has lauded the decision of government saying it will help to strengthen the nation’s energy sector.

There are currently about eight Independent Power producers in the country generating an additional power estimated at 400 megawatts.

Mr Kerali who represents the World Bank in Ghana said there could be excess energy if some of the power deals are not reconsidered.

“At the moment electricity tariff [in Ghana] is significantly higher than neighbouring countries,” he said, adding there are issues in the sector that require attention.

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