The Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko has supported moves to have the $510 million AMERI Power deal revoked over possible breaches of the original deal approved by Parliament.
Responding to questions before Parliament’s Energy and Mines Committee Wednesday, he said, “both parties can consent to set aside the agreement for renegotiation, that is an option.”
“We could push the case for the annulment based on the establishment of fraud, malfeasance or any such untoward behavior. Or we could push for an abrogation that would incur some liabilities. We are examining all of this in terms of financial liability,” he said.
New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Adansi Asokwa, Kobina Tahir Hammond, in a motion currently receiving attention before the Energy and Mines Committee in Parliament has demanded a rescission of the deal accusing managers of AMERI of fraud.
AMERI Energy has insisted its $510m price for a 230 megawatts power plant is fair despite government’s claim the project was over-priced by $150 million.
CEO of the UAE-based company Maher Al Alili in a press release said his company “offers the lowest levelized tariff of any thermal plant in Ghana”.
Government has so far remained quiet on the motion for rescission but appears to have its own way of dealing with the matter.
“As far as I am concerned, I don’t think or have anything to the contrary that a thorough due diligence was done on the AMERI group itself to estimate their expertise and ability to deliver and stand up to risk and warranty the covenant they made.
“The due diligence I am aware of was not done on AMERI, it was rather done on APR and so once APR stepped out of the equation, it was incumbent on governemnt to go back and do full due deligence,.” the Energy Minister explained.
However, ranking member on the Energy and Mines Committee Adams Mutawakilu said wants government to address the confusion. on the AMERI deal.
The Minority in Parliament has challenged the Majority to head to court if it believes the $510m Ameri Power deal signed in 2015 was fraudulent.
The opposition lawmakers said they will support moves to review the contract if their political opponents are able to produce documents that point to fraud.
Until proven otherwise, former Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor said the Minority has nothing against the power deal which the Majority insists is over-priced by $150m.
“KT Hammond is on a different tangent, the executive arm of government is on another tangent,” Mr Mutawakilu said.
“Mr Hammond is requesting for a rescission, which is the revocation of the agreement, but government said we want a review of the agreement…government is ultimately liable for any decision taken by parliament based on KT’s motion,” he said.
According to him, “assuming the Majority committee recommends for rescission and parliament rescind the agreement, AMERI cannot sue KT, parliament but they will sue the Minister of Energy and therefore the executive arm.
He added that “the liability lies with the Energy Minister but if it shifts away from gross misrepresentation and therefore rescission, that means it is dodging the liability that might come out of it.”
Mr Mutawakuli said once that happens one cannot argue that government has not abandoned KT Hammond and his motion.