Mogtari writes: Was Nana Addo really misled on AMERI deal?

By Joyce Bawa Mogtari

In the not so recent past, under the watch of former President John Dramani Mahama, Ghana suffered a crippling power production deficit that was christened Dumsor- similar to the power crisis under former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

The deficit was the result of previous years of not adding any significant megawatts of production capacity to our generating plants, as against an increase in the power demand by homes and businesses, spurred by population growth and industrial expansion.

The NDC administration worked tirelessly and relentlessly to find a sustainable solution to the crisis that was affecting not only individuals but also businesses. Dumsor was on the lips of everybody. Any problem, including domestic accidents, was blamed on Dumsor. Ghana was approaching a tipping point.

President Mahama was bent on solving the problem, ensuring that the quest to find a solution was not left to his ministers only, but to the technocrats and engineers as well. For a country that once prided itself as an exporter of power to neighbouring countries, how could we not have enough to feed our distribution lines? While the political opposition, civil society and some groups kept laying into the Government, accusing it of failing to deal with the challenge, the President and his team were also busy at work, day and night, to fulfil the promise to solve it.

But no, this was not the case.

With elections underway in about a year the NPP found a new punching bag, Ameri. They alleged without credible evidence that the deal was laden with corruption, and that Ghana had been short-changed. While many independent institutions including Pricewaterhouse were contracted to review the agreement and found it to be above board, Ameri, which was one of the strategic tools of getting us out of Dumsor, became the new whipping boy for the opposition.

A dirty campaign ensued and soon even Ghanaians forgot that they were once under Dumsor. It was all about corruption involving Ameri, and many spoke without credible facts. As history would have it, the election came and went; lies and false promises won over a developmental and national agenda well laid out to move our country to the next stage, and currently, what do we see?

1. The Karpower agreement, a temporary power solution that the then opposition said was unfavourable to the country gets extended for even more years in a deal that stinks of corruption.

2. Ameri, whose agreement the then opposition used as a campaign tool, together with Karpower, are the plants sustaining Ghana’s power generation today.

3. After all failed attempts to further blacken the Ameri deal and the company, Ghanaians were shocked at news that a plant that would become the property of the country in less than three years, had been fraudulently willed to a middle company chosen by agents of President Akufo-Addo for a further 15 years.

4. The shockingly inept agreement was hurriedly approved by the President, by Executive Order, in what has become yet another major corruption scandal in these twenty extremely eventful months of Akufo-Addo’s administration.

Thanks to the resistance of the ordinary Ghanaian, staff of the Volta River Authority, the opposition NDC and many others, the blatant attempt to hoodwink the country by the NPP government had to be abandoned. It was clear to even previous allies of the government that this was a massive case of well-coordinated corruption by the men at the top.

Embarrassed, called out, and desperately trying to cover up, the President, true to his family and friends’ nature, is using his nephew to feign ignorance and claim he was misled. But was he? How was he misled? How could he even have been misled? How would he have had the executive order signed if indeed he was misled? Is that how he operates at the presidency? To protect himself, the Minister for Energy has been sacked. Is that the end of the latest attempt to defraud the people of Ghana by the President, his men and ministers?