Bawumia drills holes into AMERI, bus rebranding deals
The NPP Vice-Presidential candidate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has cited the Karpower, Ameri Power deals, 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.
According to Dr. Bawumia, many of the projects under the NDC administration are riddled with symptoms of corruption.
“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 220 million dollars 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,” the former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana said over the weekend.
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 $350million (payable in 5 years). Clearly, then entire plant could have been purchased for at most $350million 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 $350million? What value is Ameri bringing to the table to justify their $160million 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.