AMERI yet to receive payment for 10 turbines

The AMERI group has told Joy News it has not received any payments from government for the 10 gas turbines it has supplied to Ghana.

The company says it will only start taking money from government after the machines become operational.

This was in response to a question Joy News posed to the CEO of the AMERI Group, Ziad Barakat.

Joy News was seeking the clarification from AMERI following the controversy over the cost of the 10 plants which was said to be around 510 million dollars payable within the next five years.

A Norwegian newspaper claims the turbines usually sell for 220 million dollars and wondered why the government of Ghana had to pay 510 million dollars. It also raised concerns about the authenticity of the company, the cost of the plant and the lack of due diligence on the contract.

But the Power Ministry has responded to the story describing it as false and a misrepresentation of the facts.

Joy News has however received correspondence from the AMERI group on the issues raised in the Nowegian newspaper.

Myjoyonline’s Editor Malik Abass Daabu who is perusing the correspondence reported AMERI as saying that it is yet to receive any money from the government of Ghana. AMERI says it will only start receiving payment after it installs the plants and power is produced to the people of Ghana for at least 30 days.

Explaining the details of the 510 million dollar contract, Ameri Group said 350 million dollars had been awarded to Metka, the Greek company which will supply the turbines and provide balance of plant installation and the commissioning of the project.

Ziad Barakat did not say how the difference between the contract sum of 510 million dollars and the 350 million dollars paid to Metka was used for.

The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) is suggesting that the difference was gifted to AMERI for playing a third party role.

Meanwhile, Zarakat said the witness, Umar Farooq Zahoor who was accused of being a fraudster used to work for Ameri but resigned to pursue some other business opportunities.

Parliament has also come under fire for poorly scrutinising the contract before ratifying it.

A member of the Mines and Energy committee William Owireku Aidoo said the contract was rushed through Parliament.

He told Joy News’ Francis Abban the concerns raised on the value for money were not accepted.

He said the MPs did their best under the circumstances.

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