October 23, 2017

Former Minister of Power under the previous John Mahama led government Dr. Kwabena Donkor has said Ghana has lost an opportunity in the Africa and Middle East Resources Investment (AMERI) case where the ranking member of mines and energy, K T Hammond is seeking a rescission of the deal.

As to whether he has any advice for the current energy Minister on the AMERI power, he responded that, “an opportunity has been lost by stirring up the waters unnecessary,“I believe we can learn from it going forward and avoid some of these things”, he lamented
Despite the Minority members of the mine and energy boycotting the committee meeting on AMERI, the former power Minister Dr. Kwabena Donkor appeared before the committee on Friday 20th October 2017 to give testimony as then sector Minister.

In an interview with ghanamps.com the former Minister bemoaned criminalization and calling of names “fraudulent” even before AMERI and the committee sit down to talk.
“It is wrong as a nation we should learn from this since there was a provision in the contract for both parties to talk”, he said.

The Pru East Legislator remarked that he believe the current legislature has no authority to reverse the decision, as the impact on future investment if approved by Parliament can be reversed by a new Parliament simply because it has the numbers.

“The way we are going about it is wrong, our standing orders has no place for a decision taken by a previous parliament for recession by another Parliament it says we can rescind a decision within a session that is within a year of that same Parliament.The Intention might be honorable but the process in my opinion is wrong, K T Hammond who is my brother.

I have told him is wrong, but it is all in wanting the best for Ghana is a learning experience for all the parties and I wished this has been done early rather than the arm slinging and names calling we should be talking to each other’’ he said.

“This will have a lot of impact on Ghana’s investment climate, already for a developing Country there is a political risk in doing business here.

We pay premium on investment because of this risk we are only aggravating this by reversing a decision that was properly approved, this is not in the National interest a short term decision and in my opinion misleading”, he said.

As to what we have learnt as a country from this AMERI deal, he responded by saying, “let us avoid getting into an emergency situation in the first place”.

According to him; “It is very easy after the energy  emergency 2015,  we are on safe ground now  to look back and say  we should have done this we should have done that,  when you are standing in a positon of safety.

 In  an  emergency, what we need was power at all cost the Country was undergoing tremendous  psychological hick up, factories were not having enough power to keep them running Ghanaian business were shutting down because of lack of power, we took the right decision at the right time”, he said.

As to whether same process will be used today, he said definitely not in normal times, process and procedure you use are different in an emergency situation the most important is the outcome and not the necessary the process.

By: Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com