Former Power Minister, Dr Kwabena Donkor says he did not do the background check 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 standby letter of credit (LC) for the project conducted the checks.
“The first time I met them [AMERI] was in [Qatar’s] Doha,” he said, adding the financial institution would not have issued the LC if it had not done “due diligence.”
The Majority in Parliament has signalled the move to have the deal rescinded over possible fraud. The deal was signed at the time AMERI Energy was barely two months old.
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.
“I am not saying that I have acces to the report but I know for a fact that the Ministry of Finance has a report [on AMERI],” he said.