Ameri deal: Some parts didn’t get parliamentary approval – Report

Parts of the $510million power deal between Ameri Energy and the Government of Ghana (GoG) did not get parliamentary approval, the 17-member Philip Addison Committee which reviewed the entire deal has revealed in its report.

According to the report, as part of the deal, an Addendum to the Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) Agreement was executed on 27 July 2015 between GoG and Ameri Energy.

“However, it should be recalled that Ameri Energy at that date had already assigned its interest to Ameri Equipment. The date of the Assignment precedes the addendum and yet the party that entered into the addendum is Ameri Energy,” the report said.

Also, the report said: “Prior to the execution of the Addendum to the BOOT Agreement, the Government of Ghana through the Bank of Ghana established a Standby SBLC (“SBLC”) on 17 April 2015 (reference number SBLC/GOV/15/3) to back up the BOOT Agreement. The SBLC is due for extension on 31 December 2017.”

As far as the Committee is concerned, it was the deal between Ameri Energy and GoG that got parliamentary approval and not that between Ameri Power Equipment Trading LLC and GoG even though Ameri Energy had, prior to the signing off of the deal, assigned its interest to Ameri Power Equipment Trading LLC.

This, the Committee identifies as a major legal infraction which renders the Addendum void.

It said: “Amendments to the BOOT Agreement require parliamentary approval. The Addendum contains provisions that have significant impact on the project. One such provision is the assignment of the Agreement from Ameri Energy to Ameri Power Equipment Trading LLC. The failure to obtain parliamentary approval renders the Addendum void.”

Also, the committee said: “The wording of the Standby Letter of Credit (SBLC) established, differs significantly from that contained in the Agreement that went to Parliament. Secondly, the wording of the SBLC is too wide as it gives Ameri the opportunity to withdraw all $51million after collecting the required payments. There is no requirement to give notice to GoG before calling on the SBLC. As it stands GoG is simply relying on Ameri’s goodwill not to draw on the SBLC because Ameri can, for example, call on the SBLC even when there is a genuine invoice dispute between the parties to the BOOT Agreement.”