The Committee tasked to investigate the controversial AMERI power deal is yet to present its report to Parliament, six months after it was set up.
In August 2017, the Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, K.T Hammond, filed a motion asking Parliament to rescind the earlier ratification of the deal with was signed by the Mahama administration.
Prior to the investigation by the select committee, a 17-member committee which was set up in February 2017 and chaired by Philip Addison revealed an overpayment estimated at $150 million.
The Chairman of the select Committee, Emmanuel Kwasi Gyamfi indicated on Eyewitness News yesterday [Friday] that the delays in presenting the report to the House are justified, given how delicate the deal is.
“The committee report is not ready. This is not just a simple issue… We cannot just present the report without doing due diligence.”
Mr. Gyamfi, who is also the Chairman of Mines and Energy Committee in Parliament, stated that the Committee had already interrogated ‘key players’ including KT Hammond, representatives of PURC, VRA and AMERI, as well as Minister of Power at the time, Kwabena Donkor.
He, however, indicated that the Committee might have to invite these persons to reappear before it to provide some clarification before the report can be completed.
“We are still thinking of bringing some of the key players back to meet the committee because as I said there were issues by the key players that we have to consider. Let me assure you and our cherished listeners that the referral that was made in relation to the motion by K.T Hammond, has been deliberated on several times by the committee. What is left is the committee’s final report which will be submitted soon.”
On the same issue, Franklin Cudjoe also wondered why it had taken the committee six months for the committee to present its report.
He indicated that the Parliament’s Committee on Energy had to offer explanations on why the Committee had delayed in submitting its report.
“I suspect that there is some other issue related to this matter. Otherwise why will it take six months to actually review and keep the contract under wraps. In whose interest is this report actually coming out? I think the Parliament Committee on Energy owes us an explanation.
“This is coming on the back of some claims that have been made by the presidency that some of the contracts under the Mahama administration were inflated. I think this offers a perfect opportunity to let everyone exactly what levels of inflation they were and this report will signal that particular behaviour. This is feet dragging. Otherwise people will still be questioning the validity of the deal. I wonder why we waited so long.”
K.T Hammond had requested in 2017 that the deal be withdrawn, claiming he had received information indicating that the deal was fraudulent.
Mr Hammond had revealed on Eyewitness News in August that, Ghana stands to lose $150 million to AMERI in the deal.
‘Cancelling AMERI deal not prudent’
The former Minister of Power, Kwabena Donkor, had however warned that investments into Ghana’s economy will be greatly affected if the AMERI power deal is cancelled.
“The impact on future investment, if approvals by parliament can be rescinded, when a new government comes in with a new parliament because they have the numbers they rescind it, what will be the impact on Ghana’s investment climate?” he asked.
“Already, for developing countries, there is a political risk of investment, and therefore we pay a premium for investment because of perceived political risk. If we aggravate this by rescinding decisions properly approved, because one government is in power, and has numbers to push it through, it will be short-term and it will not be in the national interest, and in my opinion, it will be misleading, I think a rescission will be a disservice to Ghana,” he added.
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.
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