The Lands and Natural Resources Minister will serve as acting Minister of Energy until a substantive Minister is appointed.
This follows the dismissal of Mr. Boakye Agyarko as Energy Minister.
According to a statement issued by the Communication Directorate at the Presidency on Monday August 6, 2018, President Akufo-Addo ordered Boakye Agyarko to hand over to the Mr. Amewu with immediate effect.
Mr. Amewu “will act temporarily until a substantive Minister of Energy is appointed,” the statement said.
“The President wishes Mr. Boakye Agyarko well in his future endeavors,” the statement added.
Boakye Agyarko’s dismissal is not yet known, but critics attribute it to the controversial renegotiated Ameri energy deal which has caused uproar especially among the Minority in parliament.
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 cost $510 million.
According to the Akufo-Addo administration however, it found out that AMERI had short changed the government as they presented an overpriced budget, and were overpaid by $150 million.
Under the new agreement, Mytilineous International Trading Company will take over the management of the AMERI power plant for 15 years.
The new company has offered to pay AMERI an amount of $52,160,560, with the government paying the remaining $39 million to the Dubai-based AMERI Energy to wash its hands off the deal entirely.
The new deal which was sent to Parliament under a certificate of urgency was withdrawn after Ghanaians raised concerns about the cost.
We didn’t know about revised deal – AMERI
The Africa Middle East Resources Investment of Energy (AMERI) has said it was not engaged by the Ministry of Energy during the review of its existing five-year contract with the government of Ghana.
In a letter addressed to the then Minister of Energy Boakye Agyarko, the company said it should not be considered part of the supposed amendment, adding that it will stick to the original $510 million contract.
“We have recently been following the news circulating in the media about the Novation of Ameri BOOT Agreement. For purposes of the said novation, we were given an impression by the new party that all the permits, permissions and requisite approvals from the stakeholders (ie. Ministry of Finance, Attorney General’s Office, VRA, PURC) have been obtained before presenting this amended draft to the cabinet and the President for approval,” it said.
Suspend ‘stinking and scandalous’ AMERI deal now – Minority
The Minority in Parliament wanted government to immediately suspend the AMERI novation agreement before Parliament.
Addressing a press conference, a former Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor, reiterated the concerns of critics saying it is not justified for the government to push for a deal that would cost over a billion dollars, when with the payment of $225 million in two and half years, the AMERI plant would become the property of state.
“It therefore sums up that the president is very comfortable with this deal. The President is certainly neck-deep and arms-deep into this whole deal and you cannot but hold the president accountable.”