John Peter Amewu
The controversial reviewed Ameri deal that was laid in parliament on July 25, 2018 by the former Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, was yesterday withdrawn from parliament by the Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu and a new improved agreement laid by the minister.
The old reviewed agreement caused huge furore in the country leading to the dismissal of the former Minister
The Minister, John Peter Amewu asked for the consent of the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu who was presiding, to withdraw the reviewed deal that parliament rejected through executive order to enable him lay a new improved agreement for parliamentary approval.
After the consent was given, the Minister of Energy withdrew the old agreement and laid a new one which states “Renegotiated and Enhanced Terms of the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group Lic (Ameri Energy) for the installation of ten (10) GE TM 2500 plus aero derivative gas turbines, operate, maintain, transfer and provision of support services dated February 10, 2015”.
After the new agreement was laid, it was referred to the joint committee of Mines and Energy and Finance Committee for scrutiny and report to the plenary for approval but the members of the Mines and Energy committee led by minority chief whip, Alhaji Mubarak Muntaka initially rejected suggestions that members of the Finance Committee join members of the Mines and Energy Committee to properly scrutinize the new deal before approval by parliament.
The minority chief whip said bringing the Finance Committee members to join in scrutinizing the new deal will delay the work at the committee level since the Finance Committee has a lot of work to do especially the consideration of the budget estimates and some new financial agreements.
The members of the Finance Committee led by deputy majority leader, Adwoa Safo, strongly argued for the inclusion of the Finance Committee members since the deal has financial terms involved which necessitated both the Finance Minister and the Energy Minister to jointly sign the new memorandum of understanding accompanying the new deal.
The withdrawn deal laid in parliament on July 25, 2018 generated huge controversy in the country after the minority in parliament raised serious questions with the deal which eventually caused the job of the former Minister who was said to have misled the president in endorsing the deal before being laid in parliament for approval.
The minority in parliament said the reviewed new deal that was supposed to have been carried out by Mytilineous International Trading Company will require Mytilineous to pay $52,116,560 to AMERI and the government topping it up with $39 million to enable AMERI completely wash its hands off the deal.
The minority said the Ameri contract would have ended in two years’ time and the government will have the opportunity to own it but the reviewed deal was worth $1 billion for 15 years but the old deal was $510 million.
The minority’s position was supported by some civil society organizations like IMANI and African Centre who said the reviewed deal was a bad one.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr