The former Power Minister under the erstwhile Mahama administration, Dr. Kwabena Donkor has disclosed that the posture of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the AMERI deal has vindicated him and the past government.
He said the agreement the Mahama administration and the United Arab Emirates-based AMERI entered which resulted in eliminating the erratic power supply in the country was one of the best decisions the past government took, adding that the NPP, which kicked against it while in opposition, has swallowed its pride and embraced it.
During the power crisis, Dr Donkor, who is also the member of Parliament (MP) for Pru East, led the then government to sign a $510 million contract with AMERI to build power plants, own and operate it for five years before transferring it to the Government of Ghana.
The NPP, then in opposition, condemned the deal and described it as a “stinking deal.” The party pledged to review it when in power.
After assuming power, a 17-member committee established by the then Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, advised the government to re-negotiate the $510m deal, stating that it was over-priced by $150million.
But the Attorney General (AG) Gloria Akuffo kicked against such move and went on to caution the Energy Ministry on its plan, thereby dismissing attempts to terminate. One of the reasons the AG gave was that the termination was going to result in the government dealing with huge damages.
She is on record to have said the agreement was valid and satisfied the state’s procurement processes.
Speaking to Kaakyire Kwesi Appea-Apraku, host of Dwaboase on Power 97.9 FM, the former minister said he does not regret taking such an initiative.
“If this bottle of water is sold to you on the desert for 2 billion and you have the amount, you’ll buy it,” he said pointing to a 500 ML bottle of water. “But if you are at a place where water is abundant, even 2 cedis you might not buy it.”
To him, the country was in power crisis so there was no time to waste on tackling the challenge.
“I don’t regret at all. I have been vindicated by what the posture of the NPP on the matter,” added Mr Donkor, explaining that the plants which will soon be the property of the state keep providing the country with reliable power.
Reacting to claims making rounds that the NPP rather solved the power challenges in the country, Dr Donkor said “We solved dumsor before leaving office.”
He said although people did not believe the power challenges had been tackled, he had to vacate his position.
Dr Kwabena Donkor does not regret resigning as the Power Minister. He believes the John Mahama administration did so much for Ghana to restore relianle power for the people.