Bawumia raises more questions on AMERI, MMT rebranding

The New Patriotic Party’s vice-presidential candidate, has cited the Karpower deal, AMERI power deal, rebranding of MMT buses and the rehabilitation of the Kumasi airport runway as some of the recent examples of the many corrupt deals which have become the hallmark of the current Mahama-NDC adminis­tration.

Speaking at the success­ful 15th Extraordinary An­nual Delegates’ Conference of the NPP in Sunyani on Saturday, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia mentioned that many of the projects under the NDC ad­ministration are riddled with symptoms of corrup­tion.

Dr Bawumia had days earlier, on Thursday, ques­tioned, among others, the AMERI power deal at a lec­ture organised by the Prempeh College Old Students Group in Kumasi.

“The issue of the AMERI power deal is the latest episode of issues bor­dering on corruption and the failure to ensure value for money for the people of Ghana.

“In this deal, Ghana is basically purchasing 10 gas power plants for $510 mil­lion even though the same plants can be acquired for S220 million on the market. The government in this deal contracted a middle man – AMERI – who also con­tracted another middleman – METKA – to purchase the plants from the original manufacturers, General Electric, though the govern­ment is clearly aware that General Electric are the manufacturers and Ghana could have purchased the plants directly from them”, he said.

Dr Bawumia raised is­sues about why the govern­ment failed to purchase the power plants from either General Electric or METKA, since it is clear even from the AMERI agreement that these two companies could have of­fered Ghana a far cheaper alternative.

“The government has claimed that the manufac­turers of the plant, GE, would have provided the plant at a far more expen­sive price.

“However, information available indicates that GE submitted a proposal to VRA for a similar facility, and this proposal was found satisfactory by VRA. Un­fortunately, VRA’s precari­ous financial position could not permit it to enter into a rental agreement with GE. The VRA needed govern­ment support in terms of se­curity and guarantee for the transaction, which govern­ment refused to give; the same government has, how­ever, been able to issue the needed security and guaran­tee under this AMERI deal.

“In the AMERI deal, AMERI is buying the equipment from GE through METKA. With this long chain of sup­ply, can AMERI quote a price lower than GE? How can a manufacturer’s price be more than that of a re­tailer? Can the government furnish the public with copies of the GE proposal sent to VRA?” he queried.

Dr Bawumia then touched on the role of METKA in the deal.

“METKA, which is vir­tually executing the entire scope of AMERI’s respon­sibility under the agree­ment, i.e. engineering, procurement, construction, building, operations and maintenance of the plant, is doing so at a total cost (with profit) of not more than $350 million (payable in 5 years). Clearly, then entire plant could have been pur­chased for at most $350 million and paid for over the 5-year period. So again, why did the government not even procure this plant from METKA since they could offer the same package for $350 million? What value is AMERI bringing to the table to justify their $160 million entitlement? This contract also does not make sense,” he stated.

Dr Bawumia finally touched on the Metro Mass buses rebranding scandal and expressed worry over why government had de­cided in the first place to spend taxpayers’ money on rebranding the buses when government could have rather made money for the country by allowing corpo­rate entities to advertise on the buses.

“We have also learnt that one of the latest government projects is the rebranding of 116 Metro buses with pic­tures of the President and former presidents at the cost of GHC3.6 million. Is this the best use of taxpayers’ money? Is government not aware of the state of our hospitals, for example? The buses should rather be a source of revenue to gov­ernment because companies would be prepared to pay for advertisements on the buses. This again does not make sense and has corrup­tion written all over it”, he noted.

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