The Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper has commended President Nana Akufo-Addo for acknowledging that he was misled into approving the controversial AMERI power deal.
Ben Ephson said the President was bold to admit that he has been deceived and he must be commended for that because “others may just hide it”.
“This is a massive embarrassment for the presidency…and he has done well to admit it,” he argued.
Speaking to Samson Lardy Anyenini on news analysis programme, Newsfile on the Joy News channel on Multi TV/Joy FM Saturday, he said while lauding the President for his honesty, it is necessary for him to crack the whip on the officials that misled him.
Editor of Daily Dispatch, Ben Ephson
“…he must let heads roll, the appointees who misled him; he must sack them and the influence peddlers who went around lying, he must name and shame them. If he decides not to sack then he himself is part of it,” Mr Ephson told host Samson Lardy Anyenini.
Mr Ephson was reacting to a recent publication by pro-government newspaper, ‘The Statesman’ that suggested that the government has made a U-turn with the renegotiated AMERI deal.
The executive had given its approval to the deal so Parliament could approve it before it rose last week.
“It is emerging that President Akufo-Addo was misled into granting executive approval for the deal under the guise of there being an urgent need to have a bill laid in Parliament before its rising,” The Statesman reported.
The John Mahama-led administration in 2015 agreed to rent 300MW of emergency power from AMERI at the peak of the country’s power crisis.
As part of the deal, AMERI was to build the power plants and operate them for 5 years before transferring it to the government.
The cost of the deal was $510 million and received parliamentary approval on March 20, 2015.
The approval of the deal was met with stiff opposition but eventually received endorsement by the legislative body.
It later emerged that the government had been short-changed by AMERI as they presented an overpriced budget.
The reports said the government had paid in excess of $150 million but state officials of the Mahama government disagreed.
The New Patriotic Party government which assumed office said it would look into the matter.
New deal and opposition
The new deal would see Ghana and a new company Mytilineous pay off AMERI so Mytilineous will take over management of the plant for some 15 years, what many critics have described as a stab in the back of Ghanaians.
Staff of the Volta River Authority described the deal as one that is needless and will bring more hardship to the people of Ghana.