Prime News Ghana

AMERI denies their involvement in the novation negotiations

By Clement Edward Kumsah

The management of Africa and Middle East Resources Investment, AMERI Energy has denied their involvement in the re-negotiations of build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) agreement it entered on February 20, 2015.

In a letter dated July 31, 2018, signed by CEO of AMERI Maher Al Alili, stated that AMERI is naive of the any ongoing or already completed Novation and Amendment Agreement of the AMERI Energy deal.

"As you are fully aware we've never been involved with your ministry in a kind of negotiation or discussion related to this novation and amendment agreement

Moreover, also never had an insight in any commercial discussion between you and any new party, therefore could not have verified that the above permission was not obtained in the time of presentation before Parliament"

The government is seeking approval from Parliament to review the build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) agreement it entered with Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI Energy) on February 20, 2015.

A memorandum submitted to Parliament indicated that the new transaction had a waiver of $52.7 million due AMERI Energy that the government of Ghana would have had to pay.

Besides, the memo said, there would be a reduction in the standby letter of credit (SLC) from $51 million to $37.5 million and cost savings of $405.067 million over a period, while electricity tariffs on end users would be reduced.

A Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr William Owuraku Aidoo, laid the memorandum last Wednesday, requesting Parliament to approve the novation and amendment agreement dated July 20, 2018.

It said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had given Executive approval for the novation and amendment agreement due to the gains to be made in favour of the country.

However, AMERI in its letter to Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko stated emphatically that; In view of the ongoing circumstance, the management of AMERI has taken notice of this and will like to inform you that we shall not be deem associated with the novation and amendment agreement and will only remain committed to our original BOOT agreement signed on February 20, 2015. Upon completion of our five years term, your ministry decide to handover the project to any third party at a commercial arrangement you may deem right."

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has called on the government to as a matter of national interest, suspend the re-negotiated Ameri Power deal saying it was riddled with scandalous content and a rip-off.

John Jinapor, former deputy Power Minister argued that the re-negotiated agreement as presented had no legal opinion from the Attorney-General in addition to the fact that the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) had confirmed when it appeared before the Mines and Energy Committee that they had not approved the proposed tariff structure and that there was no value for money audit on the agreement.

The Minority in Parliament finds as scandalous, the attempt by the government to introduce a third party, Mytilineos International Trading Company to assume ownership of the power plant for an extended 15-year period at a cost of $1.035 billion when it was left with just two and a half years for the government to take complete ownership of the power plant.

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