Senior staff of the Volta River Authority are resisting attempts by government to have the renegotiated “AMERI” deal approved by parliament.
The passage of the AMERI Novation and Amendment Bill will mean the $510 million Ameri which the erstwhile Mahama-led government procured will be extended from its original five years to fifteen years with government committing over $700 million into it.
Government claims the renegotiated deal will reduce the cost per kilowatt-hour of power from 14 cents to 11 cents, but the VRA workers disagree.
“The proposed new agreement before Parliament would be more expensive than the current arrangement and does not make any financial and economic sense to the nation,” they said in a statement
According to the workers, the Ameri Plant under the original arrangement, will in the next two and half years be owned by Ghana hence it is totally needless to have a new deal.
“In less than two and half years the AMERI plant would become a free asset to the nation under the Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) arrangement, and therefore there is no need for another arrangement that would extend ownership to any other third party interest” they argued.
The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has also stated a similar position, and indicated the new deal, if approved by parliament, will be a drain on the national purse.
In the view of the VRA workers, the new deal will not be in the interest of Ghanaians since the current plant generates in excess power.
“The nation has surplus generation capacity and does not require any new long term take or pay arrangement, moreso when it is inimical to the interest of the nation” they noted.
The workers have thus maintained “We, the Staff Groups of VRA are vehemently opposed to the passing of the Bill because it will bring more hardship to the Volta River Authority and the good people of our dear country- Ghana”