Former Power Minister, Dr Kwabena Donkor says he did not do the background checks on AMERI Energy at the time the power deal was signed in 2015.
He told Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee Friday, an international lending institution that issued the letter of credit (LC) for the project conducted the checks.
The former Minister said the financial institution would not have issued the LC if it had not done due diligence.
“The first time I met them [AMERI] was in [Qatar’s] Doha,” he said.
Dr Donkor was responding to questions before the Committee over the $510 emergency power deal signed to shore up the country’s energy supply.
The Majority in Parliament has signalled the move to have the deal rescinded over possible fraud.
Adansi Asokwa MP, K.T Hammond who filed the urgent motion to have the deal terminated said he has documents pointing to breaches of the agreement.
The lawmaker said AMERI Energy overcharged the government and sublet the contract to Turkish firm, Power Project SANAYI (PPR) at $315 less than what was charged.
He also argued:
(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.
Minority members of the Mines and Energy Committee have boycotted sitting, arguing they will not be part of any process to rescind the deal.
Although he said the AMERI deal was the best at the time it was signed, Dr Donkor has admitted he did no research on the Dubai Company.
“The big lending institution that underwrote the standby letter of credit will not do that without doing due diligence,” the Pru East MP said, adding the first time he met AMERI was at a meeting in Qatar’s capital, Doha.
When asked if he could make the report available to the Committee, Dr Donkor directed them to the Finance Ministry.