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21 April 2017 | Feature Article

Is Amale In Bed With AMERI?

My trip from Lagos (the commercial capital of Nigeria) to Accra had been littered with stress and complications. But I’d know idea that ahead of me laid a more convoluted case. I‘d learned that confusion and complexity are not blood-related but whenever the two words cross path they spark fire and create controversy.

Yet, that won’t stop me from looking into this inevitable question: Is Amale in bed with AMERI? Amale’s name has been trending everywhere. When you go there they say Amale, when come here they say Amale. Amale is at the coffee shop, Amale is in Makola Market Mr. Writer tell me who at all is this Amale girl, is she the most beautiful in this romantic city?

Oh Olusegun, the name is not Amale it’s rather AMERI so get over it, come out of the state of confusion. Be reminded we’re back in Accra, Ghana. And even though Manna has ceased to fall there are still some people who’re lusting after the heavenly bread. In apropos, AMERI is an acronym for --Africa & Middle East Resources Investment Group LLC (Ameri Energy), a Turkish power giant.

Indeed AMERI has generated controversy across the nation but beyond that it’s caused individuals and institutions to lock horns amid scathing words. Here is one example: “You are confused about aspects of Ameri deal,” said IMANI a policy think tank to a former deputy Attorney General in the \Mahama-administration.

So if the chief attorneys are purported to be ‘confused’ what would the traders in Makola do? It certainly begs the question. Thank Goodness the ink hasn’t dried yet. This AMERII case seems like the biblical Sabbath story to me. Isn’t the son of Man Lord over the Sabbath?

My question is: Why are we shooting ourselves on the foot? Who would throw $150 million into the drain for the sake of conflict of interest when it’s been established that value for money had been compromised or you got duped for a purchased product?

Who wouldn’t accept boarding and lodging fees from the person who supposedly acted in bad faith over transaction, if that’s the only way to redeem your lost money/? Why would you sell your cash-cow for a lame-duck? In other words, would you spend more money to redeem that which is lost—flying a team to Dubai and spending days in the oil-rich Arabian city? At whose expense the nation that’s already been robbed and bleeding?

Who refuses this, when the one who allegedly duped you says he’s now open for renegotiation (come let’s talk), not only that he would also foot your bills as you pursue justice and value for money?

The argument in support of conflict of interest is tenable no doubt about that. But ultimately you’d break the Sabbath’s ordinance which forbids you to go to the corn farm when your children are dying of starvation.

“Ordinary speaking, when a committee is going to investigate a matter, it is true that the person or institution that is going to be investigated should not be seen to be giving benefits or providing facilities for the committee investigating the matter, but in the peculiar situation of this case there is a twist,” said a former commissioner for Commission For Human Rights & Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) Justice Emile Short.

“..But in the peculiar situation of this case there is a twist.’ I like that line. Indeed there is a twist. But where is the twist, the twist is embedded in the Sabbath story.

The legal luminary said the Addison committee’s Ameri-sponsored trip to Dubai would require a thorough investigation since the situation is complex. According to Mr. Short although the incident appeared to be conflict of interest, the context in which it occurred makes it peculiar and complicated.

He further explained that the situation looked rather complex and it required some thoughtfulness before conclusions can be made. “We have to look at the special circumstances of this case. The provision of government especially with regards to this Ameri deal and the fact that the company was the one that insisted the committee should travel abroad. So these are the parameters which any institution investigating the matter would take into consideration. It is not your normal situation,” Mr. Short stated.

A-17-member committee chaired by Philip Addison was constituted by the government to investigate a $510 million power agreement with Turkish giants --Ameri Energy signed by the previous Mahama government.The committee said it discovered the former administration paid $150million more than they were expected to pay.

Meanwhile the Minority in Parliament says the committee’s report was ‘biased’ and ‘compromised’ by AMERI’s sponsorship of the team’s trip to Dubai to meet with the company’s executives\. On Tuesday 18 April 2017, Minority Spokesperson on Finance Cassiel Ato Forson told the media in Accra that: “What comes to us as a shock is that a three-day trip was extended to a week for reasons known to members of the committee?”

“Strangely the (Energy) minister’s brother who is Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon who is not a member of the committee joined the trip on the second day of their visit, also under sponsorship of AMERI. A situation that is embarrassing, unethical and shameful,” stated Mr. Forson.

In a sharp rebuttal the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo says the Addison committee did not compromise itself by allowing AMERI to fund its trip to Dubai.

Elsewhere in the capital a policy think tank IMANI Ghana had locked horns with Mr. Dominic Ayine a former deputy Attorney General of the NDC government over the controversial $510 million power agreement with the Turkish power-giant. IMANI believes that the power agreement signed by the previous was a swizz.

And if you thought the confusion was over, it had rather oiled its squeaky gears gathering momentum The IMANI-AMERI team had copied a statement regarding the power deal and had squarely put the blame on the deputy state Attorney General. In part the statement alluded that Mr. Ayine who led the legal transaction of the AMERI deal ‘may either have been confused about aspects of the deal or let down by specialists at the Volta River Authority.’

Led by the Vice President of the think tank, Bright Simons, the IMANI AMERI team maintains the power agreement was a rip-off. Here is an abridged form of the statement.

IMANI principals have been locked in a debate over the last week with the former Deputy Attorney General ("ex-DAG") who led the Ghanaian side in the AMERI deal.

Our exchanges with the former Government functionary on Facebook in recent days have however brought us to the sudden realisation that the ex-DAG may be completely confused about certain fundamental aspects of the deal he led.

Aspects so fundamental and elementary as to suggest that he was either woefully let down by his VRA specialist advisors or he failed to heed to their counsel.

Since the best path forward for Ghana is to get him and the former Power Minister to testify on our side, enthusiastically and emphatically, in any mediation or arbitration, to the effect that Ghana was lied to by AMERI regarding the costing of the "balance of plant" work and the derivative calculations for the implied tariff, we are going to add to our list of goals for this our longstanding AMERI advocacy project.

Top of that new list is the need to find more elaborate means to "demonstrate" the deceits this country has endured at the hands of AMERI.

Firstly, let us address the two main defences of the AMERI deal being canvassed by the ex-DAG and his supporters.

1. He is still unwilling to back down from the position that there was some massive extra work done by AMERI on the GE-made TM2500+ power plant-complex supplied by PPL through Metka.

He believes that AMERI or its subcontractors paid $120 million in order to get the machines ready to start supplying power to the Ghanaian grid despite our very clear explanation of the scope of work using the contract annexes, the GE product manuals, and a bill of quantities approach. So let us try a more vivid approach.

A. There is no dispute that Ghana secured ten TM2500+ power plants from AMERI. This is confirmed in the contract.

B. The TM2500+ is a compact, "power plant in a box" and NOT just a gas turbine.

It is the gas turbine PLUS several components of the "electrical balance of plant" and "mechanical balance of plant", mounted on four mobile trailers, needed to complete the "power plant in a box" concept of the TM2500+

C. The actual gas turbine inside the TM2500+ is the LM2500, a derivative of the CF6/Tf39 jet engines made by GE.

D. The LM2500 is sold on the open market for $9.5 million

E. Everyone knows that the TM2500+ is also sold on the open market for $22 million.

F. That means that in addition to the gas turbine, there is at least $12.5 million of additional components added to the LM2500 in order to complete the TM2500+ package.

Well that isn’t the end of the IMANI-AMAERI statement and it’s certainly not the end of the confusion and the complexities of the whole power deal. But it is an eye-opener and food for thought. Going forwarded we have to be guided by the principles of value for money and due diligence.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Gordon Offin-Amaniampong and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Author: Gordon Offin-Amaniampong
Stories: 229 Publication(s)
Column: GordonOffinAmaniampong