By Emmanuel Akli
The Minister for Energy, Mr Boakye Agyarko, has recorded his name in the Guinness Book of Records as the first Minister to be booted from office by no-nonsense President Akufo Addo.
Mr Agyarko’s dismissal letter was handed over to him yesterday by the President, after he reportedly failed to voluntarily tender in his resignation.
A terse statement issued by the office of the President reads: “The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has, by [a] letter, dated 6th August, 2018, relieved the Minister for Energy, Mr. Boakye Agyarko, of his position, with immediate effect.
“President Akufo-Addo has asked Mr. Boakye Agyarko to hand over his office to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. John Peter Amewu, who will act temporarily as Minister for Energy until a substantive appointment is made. The President wishes Mr. Boakye Agyarko well in his future endeavours.”
Mr Agyarko incurred the wrath of the President after he renegotiated the controversial AMERI deal from the current two and half years left for it to go, to 15 years.
He then sent the contract to the Parliament for approval, but the House failed to do so after detecting that the Attorney General’s advice was not attached to the contract. The House again discovered that there was no input from the Minister of Finance.
It emerged later that President Akufo-Addo was deceived into giving executive approval for the contract to be sent to Parliament for approval.
The Chronicle gathered that Mr Boakye Agyarko was invited to a meeting at Jubilee House yesterday, where, after a lengthy discussion, was asked to tender in his resignation, but he was adamant. This forced the President to officially sack him.
In the heat of the energy crisis, the John Mahama government negotiated with Ameri to import emergency power plants on a Build, Operate and Transfer basis. The contract was for five years, after which Ghana would own the plant. Ghanaians were told that the cost of the plant for the five years was $510 million.
After securing the contract, AMERI also decided to sublet it to METKA to build the plant in Ghana. MEKTA later posted on its website that it has secured a contract in Ghana at a total cost of $360 million. The then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and civil society groups accused the Mahama government of pocketing $150 million from the contract.
Under Ameri deal itself, the Public Utility and Regulatory Commission (PURC) had approved a tariff of 14.4 cents per kilowatts hour. But, after AMERI has recouped its investment and the plants returned to Ghana, the charge would be slashed down to a little over 10 cents per kilowatts.
It is now left with two and half years for Ghana to own the plants and to enjoy the slashed rate. But, under the reviewed contract Mr Boakye Agyarko was trying to sign with Mytilineous Company Limited, which is rumoured to be a sister company of MEKTA, the charge per kilowatts has been reduced from the current 14.4 cents to 11.
But the caveat is that Mytilineous Company Limited would own the plants for fifteen years. This means by the time the plants are handed over to Ghana, the government would paid more than $1 billion to Mytilineous, a development, according to industry players, does not make any economic sense.