Technical Advisor on Energy and Petroleum Policy to the Minister for Planning and Development, Ishmael Ackah has bemoaned government’s decision to sign a more expensive deal in the wake of the brouhaha surrounding the AMERI deal.
Against “all the suggestions there have been, government still decided to go for the most expensive option,” he revealed.
A former policy advisor at the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Mr Ackah believes all suggestions have been deliberated on enough to enable the government to choose a better deal – one that will not ultimately increase tariffs for citizens.
In fact, he says without any uncertainties that, “when you compare the current deal and what has been signed, this is about 45 per cent higher than” the previously proposed one by the erstwhile Mahama government.
For a country that “pays one of the highest in Africa. [power] is very expensive,” the lecturer cum energy economist admitted that the deal signed by government would only plummet the already too high tariffs. “Normally, when the cost of power generation goes up, it also leads to increases in our tariffs and people really struggle” he stated. In his laudable experience and knowledge in energy, Mr Ackah believes “that there’s a need to talk,” as has been done by the opposition on various platforms to try to make the government rescind its decision.
Ishameal Ackah reemphasized ACEP’s public interest stance on the issue and claimed it as his own opinion when he said: “I think that ACEP’s interest is to seek value for money for our people”.
About the Ameri deal
The then opposition NPP was critical of the deal, and the Energy Minister, Boakye Agarko, claimed that it had been overpriced by 150 million dollars.
The NPP MP for Andasi-Asokwa, K.T.Hammond had earlier filed a motion for a rescission of the deal.
The Minority however staged a walkout when the Speaker forwarded the motion to have the deal rescinded in Parliament.
The Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group LLC (AMERI) has also stated that, its 2015 agreement with Ghana for the provision of a Power Plant in the heat of the country’s power crisis, offered the “best value for money” despite government findings that the $510 million deal was bloated by $150 million.
“AMERI acknowledges that the Government of Ghana has every right to assess all public contracts for value of money or quality of delivery. The company strongly believes the project delivered on both. An independent report by renowned auditors PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PwC) found that, out of 7 similar projects, the Ameri plant at Takoradi offered the best value for money,” the statement said.
The deal which was meant to as the country’s saving grace may has become the grounds for a heated debate focusing on why the government did not opt for a deal that fitted the country’s coffers.