General News of Thursday, 27 July 2017
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has suggested that the MP for Adansi Asokwa, K.T. Hammond may have to resort to the law courts to address the reservations he has with the AMERI deal, for which he recently filed a motion for government to reverse.
Mr. Iddrisu found Mr. Hammond’s u-turn on the AMERI deal bizarre and argued that the former ranking member on Energy could not eat his cake and have it.
“We are also at a loss as to whether a Member of Parliament can just wake up, as disgruntled the member may be, to seek to rescind a decision of a previous Parliament. As far as we are concerned, it [the AMERI deal] was to deal with an urgent energy crisis which justified us increasing the generational capacity of the country and we entered into a contractual agreement…”
He reminded that Mr. Hammond even seconded the motion “so, in law, he cannot approbate and reprobate.”
“I should think the appropriate forum for him would be to go to court to attack the fundamentals of the terms of the contract, which is in force, but not to sleep and just wake up saying he wants a recession order by Parliament.”
AMERI deal was useful
Mr. Iddrisu held that “the AMERI intervention has been useful for the State of Ghana” and that any recession of the ongoing contract “will have consequences.”
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye has approved an urgent motion filed by the Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, K.T Hammond for the government to reverse its decision on the AMERI power agreement.
The motion has since been tabled for debate by Members of Parliament.
K.T Hammond, who was the ranking member of the Energy Committee of Parliament in 2015 when the deal was approved said that the move to have it withdrawn is because of his conviction that the deal was suspicious, based on some fresh information available to him.
The John Mahama 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 March 20, 2015. The approval of the deal was met with some 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.