The Minority is adopting a wait and see attitude as Energy Minister John Peter Amewu brags over a supposed $50million savings made after a second attempt at renegotiating the controversial AMERI deal.
Ranking member on the Energy Committee Adam Mutawakilu said it will be no news at all if indeed it is true that government had saved $50million from the original agreement.
However, they are waiting patiently for the minister to bring the renegotiated deal to Parliament so they can scrutinize it and draw their own conclusions.
According to him, the former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko had made similar claims of savings in the Novation agreement-the first attempt at renegotiation- only to lose his job after it turned out that the renegotiated deal was a rip-off.
He said once Amewu brings the new Ameri deal to Parliament they will be able to make objective assessment of the content.
John Peter Amewu had told Joy News Editor Evans Mensah that his office had had a successful renegotiation of the $510m Ameri power deal signed under the erstwhile John Mahama government in 2015.
He said the new deal will be taken to cabinet and will be brought to Parliament to replace the Novation agreement which the former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko had brought to Parliament under an executive order.
The novation agreement was the NPP government’s first attempt at renegotiating an Ameri deal it criticized while in opposition and accused the then government of inflating the price of the contract by over $150million.
Not long after Novation agreement was submitted to Parliament came criticisms from civil society organization some of whom said the renegotiated agreement was worse than the original agreement which was bad enough.
This forced the government to make a u-turn but not without a casualty. Agyarko had to lose his job after allegedly presiding over a bad renegotiation.
Even before the new deal will receive Cabinet and Parliamentary approval, the new Energy Minister is touting government’s achievements claiming it has saved $50 million from the original contract.
“This savings that we are doing now is just for two and half years. And so if we are saving almost $ 60 million in two and half years, if we are to work [for longer periods of time] it should tell you that we could be saving more than $100 million,” he justified the new deal.
But Mutawakilu is urging caution and at the same time downplaying any potential savings made out of the renegotiation.
He said Amewu must first bring the agreement to Parliament for scrutiny. It is only then that they can make an independent assessment of the new deal.
He was categorical that even if government were to have saved $50million of the ameri deal it will be no news.
According to him, companies who wish to continue doing business with a new government make concessions by agreeing to a review of old contracts.
He said in 2009 when the NDC government came to power it renegotiated some contracts by the Kufuor led government, saved some 9 million cedis which they used for some development projects.
“Let the agreement come we will look at it. There may be other clauses in the addendum whereby government does not act that $50m will come to knot.
“If he is making some savings he should come with it and we will see how it goes because that is the same thing the former Minister made mention of over $400m will be saved with the Novation agreement and it came out that it was an agenda to rob the nation.
When he was asked if the $50million savings is not a testimony that the original deal signed by his government had been inflated, he stated: “That is not the case, if you follow politics [you will know] once a new government comes into power because these business people want to continue do business they might be concessions to certain review agreements,” he said.
“When we came in 2009 there was this power agreement, we renegotiated it, saved $9 million and that was used to construct the Kintampo sub-station.
He said in 2021 if the NDC comes into power it will renegotiate previous agreements and make savings.