A Deputy Information Minister has said government welcomes public criticisms of attempts to extend the AMERI power deal and will factor the consideration process.
Kojo Oppong says the public scrutiny, review and reaction, will rightly inform the final decision on whether or not to extend the deal, and in the end Ghana will be the ultimate winner.
Parliament is currently considering a proposal to amend and extend one of Ghana’s most controversial power supply deals, following the approval of the new deal by cabinet.
The deal under review, approved by the NDC government was heavily criticized by the then opposition NPP for being overpriced and a rip off.
Civil society, including the African Centre for Energy Policy has come in heavy on the new proposals arguing it is worse off than the existing one.
The public is also questioning why the NPP government, which vehemently opposed the initial deal and threatened to abrogate it if it gained power, is now fronting a possible extension, which will cost the nation more.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, speaking to the media said government is minded by the concerns raised against the proposal.
“What I can tell you is that in the end government would do what is in the best interest of our country,” he said.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah insisted that even though the NPP holds the majority in parliament, it will ensure that the process of government runs smoothly and all the data examined to make sure there is value for money.
He urged Ghanaians to relax and keep expressing their views on the new deal as part of the democratic process, and in the end government will come to an informed decision on the extension of the deal.
The John Mahama administration in 2015 signed a contract with Africa and Middle East Resources Investment Group (AMERI) Energy, to rent the 300MW of emergency power from AMERI.
This was at the peak of the country’s power crisis.
The power agreement with UAE-based AMERI Energy deal cost $510 million.
But according to the NPP administration, it found out that the government had been shortchanged by AMERI as they presented an overpriced budget, and were overpaid by $150 million.
The new administration thus commenced a renegotiation process to ensure value for money.