he Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) is urging the Minority in Parliament to revise its current posture towards attempts to review Ghana’s power agreement with AMERI.
ACEP is of the view that the contract was overpriced and must be investigated without partisan considerations.
The Minority in Parliament, last week went ahead with a planned boycott of deliberations on the urgent motion for a reversal of the AMERI Power Agreement by the Mines and Energy Committee.
It argued that, the motion was not debated on the floor of Parliament before being forwarded to the Mines and Energy committee.
But the Executive Director for ACEP, Benjamin Boakye, said the minority’s boycott will not promote an effective probe of the agreement.
“The Committee is still sitting and the majority side has a quorum to sit and they are doing so, but I will think that the minority even with their own challenges with the way the probe is happening, could still have been there to point out their disagreement so that all of that becomes a public record.”
“If this new government wants to do something similar, how will the minority be able to critique it? I think they should all be part of the process and allow KT Hammond to have his right and activate the processes of parliament. If you have challenges with that, you have to point it out, rather than walk out to allow only the majority to have their way in the manner that it is turning out,” he said.
K.T. Hammond, who was the ranking member of the Energy Committee of Parliament in 2015, when the deal was approved, filed an urgent motion seeking to reverse the deal due to his conviction that the deal was not value for money.
The John Mahama administration in 2015 agreed to rent the 300MW emergency power from AMERI at the peak of the country’s power crisis.
As part of the agreement, AMERI was to build the power plants and operate them for five years before transferring it to the government.
The deal received parliamentary approval on 20th March, 2015. But subsequent details suggested that, the government may have been short-changed by AMERI as they presented an overpriced budget.
Parliament is reconsidering the deal to possibly reverse it if evidence of the state being shortchanged is found.
Cancelling AMERI deal will be disservice to Ghana – Donkor
Meanwhile, former Minister for Power under the John Mahama government, Kwabena Donkor, has warned that reversing the deal will lead to a dip in foreign investments into the country.
Go to court over AMERI deal – Jinapor dares gov’t
A former deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor, has also called on the Member of Parliament (MP) of Adansi-Asokwa, K.T Hammond to seek redress in court if he wants to challenge the validity of the AMERI deal.