AMERI deal: Due diligence was done – Donkor

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Former Minister of Power, Dr Kwabena Donkor, has stated that due diligence was done before the Africa and Middle East Resources Investment (AMERI) power deal letters of credit were issued.

He was speaking publicly for the first time on the AMERI deal when he appeared before Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee on Friday, 20 October 2017.

The invitation follows the motion by Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, K.T. Hammond, for Parliament to cancel the power deal because he says it was not in the best interest of the country.

But Dr Donkor said the Ministry of Finance has a report on the due diligence done in connection with the deal.

“One of the big financial institutions underwrote this standby letter of credit and they did due diligence for government on AMERI before underwriting the standby letter of credit…I know for a fact that the Ministry of Finance has a report because that company [one of the big lending institutions] underwrote that standby letter of credit and they will not do that without doing their due diligence,” he stated.

The committee however charged Dr Donkor to furnish them with a copy of the report on due diligence done in connection with the AMERI deal.

Meanwhile, AMERI group has said that the controversial $510million power deal with the Ghana government in 2015 was the “best value for money”.

Company representatives who appeared before the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament on Friday, 20 October said: “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.”

Mr Hammond wants the AMERI deal with the Government of Ghana cancelled, even though he seconded its passage to rent the 300MW emergency power plant at the height of the power crisis in 2015 in his capacity as the Ranking Member of the Energy Committee of Parliament.

The Speaker referred the motion to the Mines and Energy Committee for deliberation, but the Minority claims the move is alien to their standing orders, leading to a boycott of the committee’s work.

With the principal witness, K.T. Hammond, giving his testimony last Wednesday, it was the turn of former Power Minister, Dr Kwabena Donkor, and AMERI to seek to counter those claims and argue that the deal is in the best interest of the country.

Mr Hammond presented the following evidence to back his call for the rescission of the deal.

(1) AMERI did not provide fast-track equipment contrary to the agreement. They assigned their interest to a subsidiary known as AMERI Equipment which was registered 13 days after the agreement had been signed with Ghana.

(2) AMERI Equipment (the subsidiary) did not undertake the construction but assigned this to a Turkish Company called PPR without the consent of the government of Ghana as required.

(3) A Turkish company, PPR, bore all financial risk, raised all capital and was paid with money government of Ghana paid AMERI.

Source: Classfmonline.com