A former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko says he cannot be held responsible for cancelling Ghana’s Emergency Power Agreement with GCGP Limited which has led to a $134 million judgement debt slapped on the country.
He said he had no power to do that on his own when he was in office and therefore finds it surprising that he has been linked to the development.
The power agreement, signed in 2015, was among those reported to have been cancelled by the former Energy Minister, with the reason that they were not needed and were only going to further lead to the ballooning of Ghana’s debts in the energy sector.
GCGP Limited in a ruling secured in its favour from the International Court of Arbitration is to get $134 million and US$30 million in interests from the government of Ghana over the cancellation of the contract.
Boakye Agyarko, who was removed from his position in 2018 said on Oman FM on Tuesday [February 16, 2021] explained that he only implemented a decision taken by Cabinet and so cannot be held responsible for the judgement debt.
“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.
While admitting that the contract was cancelled during his tenure, he said all the actions taken at the time concerning the various renegotiated power deals were decisions of Cabinet.
“It was during my tenure [but] don’t say I cancelled the contract. Let me say emphatically that I Boakye Kyeremanteng Agyarko I did not use my will or power to cancel anyone’s contract.”
“The decision was that we should negotiate them out. We sent the report to cabinet and I presented to Cabinet. Cabinet accepted the report with all recommendations. I was asked as sector minister to implement the report,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Institute for Energy Security (IES) has said the US$134 million judgement debt likely to hit the Government of Ghana is one that is damaging to the country’s reputation and finances.
Beatrice Annan who is a fellow at the IES told Citi Business News, “it means that the country will have to use taxpayers’ money in excess of US$134 million to pay the foreign entity, which is GPGC. It further means that, as a struggling economy as we are, the government will have to cough up another US$30 million to pay interest.”
“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,” she bemoaned.