Amewu withdraws Ameri agreement; submits renegotiated deal
Government has officially withdrawn the controversial Ameri deal brought to Parliament by former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko.
In its place is a new agreement which the current Energy Minister John Peter Amewu claims is an improvement on the initial agreement signed by the erstwhile NDC government in 2015.
He would however not comment on whether this new deal is better than the one that got Boakye Agyarko fired.
He would also not give details of the new agreement, except to say, it will be laid before the House and the details will be made public.
The Africa Middle East Resources Investment (AMERI) became popular in 2015 but for the wrong reasons.
It was to help ameliorate Ghana’s power crisis which, at the time, had left in its wake collapsed businesses, with many residential power users incensed over long periods of power outages.
The then opposition New Patriotic Party and some civil society groups had accused the John Mahama led government of inflating the price of the $510m power agreement by some $150million.
Policy think tank IMANI described the deal as a “tidy collusion to defraud the state.” Its vice president Kofi Bentil alleged government could have gotten the emergency power plants at $220m if it went straight to producers but it went through a third party AMERI and ended up paying over $150million to the company for no work done.
The NPP vowed to review the agreement if it won power in the 2016 elections. They did win.
Barely a year into its administration, a committee was set up to investigate how government ended up signing that agreement.
Members of the committee led by Philip Addison flew to Dubai to engage officials of the AMERI group to discuss possible review of the agreement.
Later this year, the then Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko submitted to Parliament a renegotiated AMERI deal he said was a major improvement over the original one.
In that agreement which came to Parliament by an Executive Order, the then Minister government would save a whopping amount of $400 million over a 15-year period.
Under that agreement, a new company- Mytilineous International Trading Company will take over the management of the Ameri power plants for 15 years.
But this new agreement suffered a stillbirth. The minister also suffered a dismissal, the first under the Nana Akufo-Addo led administration.
Few months later, the new minister has withdrawn the renegotiated AMERI agreement Agyarko submitted to Parliament.
He has submitted a new one which he claims is an improvement on the old one.
He told Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo the new agreement has been referred to the joint Energy and Finance Committee for approval.
“I think there is a better agreement. It is an improvement on what was originally brought to the house by the NDC,” he said.
When he was pushed further to say whether the agreement is better than the one Agyarko brought, he would not comment.
He said the terms of the new agreement will be laid.