Former Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko, has refused to soak blame for the Akufo-Addo government over the US$164million judgment debt that has been slapped on Ghana by the international court of arbitration over the abrogation of the power contract with GCGP.
Responding to stories that have cited him as the one who vandalized the contract when he was Energy Minister, Agyarko said he was not the Minister when the contract was abrogated.
He even implied that the abrogation was counter-intuitive and not in the interest of the country and that he would never have done it if he was the Energy Minister at the time that the contract was canceled.
In a February 13, 2018 letter, Agyarko wrote: “I just realized that they had filed for arbitration on August 11, 2018. This was after I had left the ministry. I never knew they had gone for arbitration. I am told that the government presented itself at the arbitration. How would someone accuse me of cancelling the contract? I have not cancelled any contract, I don’t have the power nor the need or desire to cancel it. I am for what will help Ghana,” he said.
Boakye Agyarko had been sacked in 2018 over the AMERI renegotiated deal which President Akufo-Addo signed and then turned round to claim he had been misled by Agyarko to sign the deal.
Many observers believe that perceived corruption around the move to turn over the contract to another company was orchestrated by President Akufo-Addo himself who only later took cover under plausible deniability after it backfired. This left Agyarko to take the fall for the President, but deflected the blame back to the president who famously claimed he was “misled”.
The GCPGP contract had been one of the solutions that the Mahama government had devised to end Ghana’s perennial power generation deficiencies. The contracting of power producers such as the GCGP had helped banished the perennial power outages and stabilized power supply in the country.
But when the Akufo-Addo government took over from the Mahama government it decided to abrogate the contracts of some of the power producers with the explanation that the aggregate power being produced was excessive and wasteful and therefore there was need to reduce the number of producers.
GCGP which was one of the IPP’s affected went to court and won a judgment against the Government of Ghana (GoG).
The US$164million judgment debt resultant of the court’s decision comprises US$134million in judgment award and US$30million.
Experts are lamenting the development and are warning that it is not only the public purse that will suffer for this but the country’s international image as well.
Beatrice Annan, a fellow at the Institute of Energy Security told Accra-based Citi FM that, beyond the financial damage that has been caused to the country, “it also damages our reputation. So the international community will begin to look at Ghana with another eye and for us, we think that it is not a good brand to build as a nation.”