President Akufo-Addo yesterday relieved the Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko of his position.
A statement from the presidency signed by Director of Communications, Eugene Arhin, did not state what exactly led to his dismissal by the president, but DAILY GUIDE learnt that it has to do with the infamous renegotiated AMERI deal which has sparked intense debate across of the country over the past week.
The terms and conditions of the renegotiated AMERI deal were said not to be favourable to the country, prompting many questions from experts and analysts.
Cabinet, at its Thursday meeting, withdrew a letter that asked parliament to approve the deal.
Angry staff of the country’s main power producing company, Volta River Authority (VRA) yesterday called for the dismissal of the Energy Minister.
Hours after the agitation from VRA staff, the Presidency released a letter, which indicated that “the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has by letter dated 6th August, 2018, relieved the Minister for Energy, Mr. Boakye Agyarko of his position with immediate effect.”
Mr Agyarko has since been directed to hand over his office to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, who would act temporarily as Minister for Energy until a substantive appointment is made.
The President also wished Boakye Agyarko well in his future endeavours.
News of his dismissal was welcomed by those who opposed the renegotiated AMERI deal, including staff of VRA.
They commended the president for his steadfastness in saving the public purse.
The Senior Staff Association of the Volta River Authority (VRA) earlier called on President Akufo-Addo to immediately sack the Minister of Energy over the Ameri Novation and Amendment Agreement, which they said had been designed solely to “defraud” the country.
At a press conference on Monday in Accra, the association indicated that claims by Mr Agyarko that the new deal, if approved, would save Ghana some $405 million were not ‘tenable.”
The Association was of the conviction that the Ameri Novation and Amendment Agreement would cost Ghana an amount of $1.03 billion.
National Chairman of the VRA Senior Staff Association, Cephas Duse, said the Energy Minister “exercised financial recklessness with the intent to assist a foreign company milk the state and must resign or be sacked by the President should he fail to do so.
He argued that the Energy Minister deliberately misled parliament and the people of Ghana, saying that in the memorandum to parliament, the Minister used wrong tariffs.
He stated that “based on the facts presented so far, we are of the firm belief that the Energy Minister has misled and caused serious embarrassment to the Presidency, Parliament, the Ministry and the good people of Ghana.”
Mr Duse stressed that “the Energy Minister is not on top of his job and cannot be trusted. We think that by the current deal, the minister has exhibited financial recklessness with intent to assist a foreign company to milk the state.”
He explained that the computation done by the ministry before arriving at the projected savings of $405 million was flawed.
Mr. Duse said, “This computation is inaccurate, flawed and misleading because the energy minister, in computing and comparing the cost of the existing contract to the new one, used the capacity charge of 5.6253 cents/KWh under the existing AMERI contract for the entire 15 years.”
He said that the capacity charge would reduce after the fifth year of the existing contract because the plant should be fully paid for by that time.
According to him, based on research done by the association, the country would not save the expected $405 million but instead pay an additional US$472.76 million for no work done.
He added, “Analysis we have done showed that Mytilineos will have to pay AMERI $300 million under the renegotiated AMERI deal in return for the total capacity charge revenue of $1.035 billion from the GoG/ VRA. This will result in Mytilineos making a minimum colossal/gargantuan profit of $541.82 billion on this deal.”
The aggrieved VRA workers said that the money was going to be given freely to foreigners when the country’s hospitals, schools, roads and sanitation systems were in dire need of investments.
They wondered why Mr. Agyarko was pushing to commit more of Ghanaian taxpayers’ monies to ‘dubious’ deals.
“This proposed deal will bring financial trouble to the country rather than help it, and the VRA believes the Energy Minister is to blame and should remove himself from his position immediately,” he said.