Kwabena Donkor Reveals Engineers & Planners Saved Ghana US$16 million In Ameri Power Project
Players in the power sector, have recommended a thorough and unbiased probe into power purchase agreement dating back to the regimes of President John Agyekum Kufuor and Jerry John Rawlings, to determine which era brought Ghana value for money.
They argued that, the Akufo-Addo government, would be doing itself and Ghanaians a lot of justice, if it does a methodical investigation into various arrangements made towards solving Ghana’s power crisis permanently, rather than the fault-finding mission embarked upon by the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, using Philip Addison and Vicky Bright.
They insisted that, whereas those under the Kufuor regime, were hugely inflated, and mostly without any proper arrangement on transfer of ownership, those negotiated particularly by the John Mahama regime, were, above board and arrangements were made for government of Ghana to eventually assume ownership.
For instance, it was mentioned that in 2007/8, Ghana paid over US$20 million civil works on T3 under the Kufuor regime, however, under the John Mahama, Engineers & Planners (E&P), undertook similar civil works, but got paid US$4 million for Ameri project, thus saving the taxpayer over US$16 million.
Again, it was mentioned that, while power agreement during the Kufuor regime, like the Asogli, was not negotiated to be transferred after a certain period, Ameri Energy deal from Dubai and the Karpowership from Turkey, were meticulously negotiated with Ghana assuming ownership after some years.
They insisted that, both the Ameri Energy deal and the Karpowership deal, are cheaper compared to those negotiated and signed under the Kufuor regime.
They directed the Akufo-Addo government to carefully investigate these to free itself of any misconceptions and unnecessary legal tussle which might lead to huge judgment debts.
The suggestion follows Lawyer Addison’s claims of a US$150 million fraud against the Mahama government.
The 17-member committee chaired by lawyer Philip Addison, recommended to the Akufo-Addo government that it should call back owners of Ameri Energy for renegotiation.
The chairman, also recommended that the “government of Ghana should repudiate the agreement on the grounds of fraud” since Ameri Energy refused to come to the negotiation table because previous government through sole-sourcing questionably procured the power deal.
It concluded that the deal was not only grossly unfair to the interest of Ghana, but could also be considered as fraud.
But contacts within the previous government who are adequately briefed on the AMERI Power Agreement procured by the John Mahama administration, described the energy transaction as clean and not fraudulent, contrary to the claims by the committee tasked to probe the AMERI Power Agreement.
They suggested that, the probe by the committee set up by the Minister of Energy, and chaired by a known member of the NPP, Lawyer Phillip Addison, was shoddy and could not be relied upon.
They rejected the Philip Addison Committee Report making the rounds, describing it as “cooked” and “a hatchet job initiated by Mr. Boakye Agyarko”.
They insisted that, “the NPP and Philip Addison concocted 150 million dollar overpricing allegation cannot hold because plants are not sold at ex-factory prices, moreover in Ghana thermal plants are normally not procured directly from the manufacturers. Eg. KTPP, TT1PP, Tico etc.
They argued that “it is well known the NPP made it clear, before the elections that they were determined to find faults with the AMERI deal at all cost. Hence one is not surprised by their conduct”.
This, according to the insiders, explains how “the committee never contacted or spoke to any former minister or appointee of the NDC for clarification thereby making the report one sided. At least natural justice demands that!
Ameri took the decision to assume the risk by procuring, installing, operating and maintaining these plants with the hope of recovering their investment through tarrifs over five years after which Ghana takes delivery and ownership of these plants. Government of Ghana took no such risk.
Speaking with 3FM News, John Jinapor, indicated that the deal went through all the laid down processes before it was sealed.
“Parliament is the master of its own rules, parliament’s duty is to have oversight responsibility over ‘we’ the executive. I do recall that it went through all the processes from procurement to cabinet through to parliament”.
John Jinapor added “Parliament has representation from both the NPP and the NDC and as far as I’m concerned this contract was approved by consensus from both sides and so I can just tell you that it went through all the necessary processes all the laid down processes”.
Meanwhile, Kwabena Donkor, former Minister for Power and Member of Parliament for the Pru East Constituency, in the Brong Ahafo Region, has also rubbished the claims of the Addison committee, describing its report as bogus.
His 14-point is published below unedited.
ON THE BOGUS AMERI REPORT
1. The ‘report’ is unsigned and I cannot vouch for its authenticity
2. Addison and his team went to Dubai after Repot release date to meet Ameri and that is not reflected
3. As at today Addison is in Greece on the same investigation and that they have not concluded the investigation. No wonder the propaganda ‘report’ is unsigned
4. Neither myself nor my Deputy has been contacted by the Committee for any hearing
5. The Power Agreement was unanimously recommended to the Plenary by the Committee
6. The Agreement was signed with Ameri as a developer and Ameri’s subcontract with its subcontractors is not out business
7. We subsequently became aware that Ameri had to provide Bank Guarantees to its subcontractors. Government of Ghana did not provide any Bank Guarantee to Ameri
8. I had to personally go and beg Engineers & Planners to undertake the civil works because the Ministry of Finance would not pay mobilization and only E&P had the equipment and the boulders to do the job
9. In 2007/8, Ghana paid over USD20m for a similar civil works on T3 . We paid E&P about USD4m for this work.
10. One Mr Hughes, a prominent member of the Committee has a suit against him in the High Court for alleging fraud on this same transaction on social media. In all civilized jurisdictions, he should not have been a member of the committee. No wonder they are in a hurry to use the word ‘fraudulent ‘
11. But for ill motive, there was absolutely no need to bring in the meeting between President Mahama and the Crown Prince of Dubai in the report
12. How can cabinet and Parliament be involved in fraud?
13. In 2006/7, none of the emergency plants that the NPP government contracted to solve load shedding came to Parliament.
14. The tariff for Trans Tema, one of the emergency plants brought to in 2007 was USD0.29 cents per kilowatt hour!