General News of Saturday, 22 July 2017
A former deputy Minister for Power, John Jinapor has said that he is not perturbed about a proposal for the government to reverse the controversial AMERI power deal passed in 2015.
According to him, the previous government approved the Bill based on its understanding of all the information it had about it.
Mr. Jinapor was reacting to a move by the Adansi Asokwa Member of Parliament, K. T Hammond, who has filed an urgent motion in Parliament to get government to rescind the approval of the deal.
KT Hammond, who was the ranking member of the Energy Committee at the time the deal was brought before the house and the NPP MP who supported the motion when it was moved on the floor indicated his latest action was based on a fresh information he had received.
But according to Mr. Jinapor the minority is yet to access the new information KT Hammond claims to have and is ready to peruse it when it is presented on the floor of Parliament.
“Why should it worry us? If KT Hammond had said he didn’t support it then we could be worried. But why did he support it. I’m sure that he was convinced just as we were convinced that whatever information we had then was the right information. It was approved on the floor by both the majority and the minority. None of us has seen the information that he claims he has so let us peruse that,” he said.
“Today we won’t have dumsor and it is partly because of this AMERI and so we are open,” he added.
KT Hammond’s motion has been approved by the leadership of the House but is yet to be approved by the Speaker and to be programmed.
The John Mahama-led administration in 2015 agreed to rent the 300MW of emergency power from AMERI at the peak of the country’s power crisis. As part of the deal, AMERI was to build the power plants and operate them for 5 years before transferring it to the government.
The cost of the deal was $510m and received parliamentary approval on 20th March, 2015.
The approval of the deal was met with several oppositions but eventually received endorsement by the legislative body.
It later emerged that the government had been shortchanged by AMERI as they presented an overpriced budget.
The reports said the government had paid an excess of $150m but state officials of the Mahama government disagreed.
The New Patriotic Party government which assumed office said it would look into the matter.
The Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko later constituted a committee led by lawyer Philip Addison to investigate the matter that that ended in controversy as it emerged that the committee had seemingly entangled itself in a conflict of interest position by accepting sponsorship from AMERI to travel and stay in Dubai for some days as it investigates them [AMERI].