Gabby Otchere Darko
A leading member of the New Patriotic Party, Gabby Otchere Darko, has described ex-President John Mahama’s energy agreements as the most reckless in the history of Ghana.
Speaking in an interview with Paul Adom Otchere, on Good Evening Ghana Show on the 19th of September 2019, the renowned corporate lawyer said Mahama and his government acted like “Merchants of War”.
According to him, the ex-president was to blame for the recklessness and duplicity exhibited by his government in the award of “take or pay” energy agreements.
Mr. Otchere Darko pointed out that the fundamental problem that led to “dumsor” was the unavailability of funds to pay for the fuel required.
As such, “dumsor” was never a problem of capacity. Hence, the decision to request 3800MW of energy which Mr. Mahama announced in 2015 to be coming on stream was pointless, he said.
Explaining further, Gabby pointed out that although the country’s peak capacity at the time was 2100MW with 15% to 20% excess capacity, Mr. Mahama signed a “take or pay” contract about 3 times that which was required in addition to a 1000MW capacity in terms of emergency.
He questioned the motivation for such an act by government given that the excess energy could not be exported at the prevailing price of 12 cents per KW.
Without the recent reviews by the NPP, in 2028, the country would have been forced to pay in excess of $7billion for energy it did not need. “As I speak, this country pays US$80million a Month for Energy We Don’t Use and the NPP government is working to stop that” he stated.
He further argued that Mahama and his team benefited from the “dumsor” crisis by creating a new Crisis for Ghana.
He stated that “Mahama was the most blessed president ever in this country’s history. By the time he took over Ghana had discovered oil a year before. Cocoa prices were good, Ghana had really not much of a debt… but what did he do, he wasted the opportunity”.
He pointed out that the current government had been left high levels of debt in almost all sectors of the economy.
“Just the last couple of years, this government had to pay Ghana Education Service arrears dating back to 2010. Even for the North, scholarships for secondary school education had not been paid from 2014, this government had to pay that. Arrears in the energy sector, arrears in the road sector amounting to GHc2 billion, so what did they actually use the money for? ” “And they borrowed more than any other government in the history of this country,” he stated.
He further explained that the mess started with the 2012 elections when Mahama Gave GHS1.2bn unbudgeted contracts to AGAMs Group, RLG.
This was used as a cover to siphon money from the national coffers to support the 2012 Mahama campaign; this money was subsequently used to pay for elections including campaign advertisements, he added.
Again, before the 2016 general elections, Mr. Mahama mounted pressure on the Bank of Ghana, after having bribed some officials to award an interoperability deal, which was 30 times more than the next expensive bidder, to Roland Agambire’s Sibton Company.
The new management of BoG has thus, reduced the interoperability deal that the previous Mahama appointed BoG management was doing for over Ghc60 billion to $ 4m.
He entreated Ghanaians to ask Mr. Mahama why he should be brought back to repeat the mess he created.
Given that Mr. Mahama identifies himself as a visionary leader, Gabby pointed out that visionary leaders plan and pay for the future.
He said ex-president Mahama gave away several contracts worth billions of cedis with no idea or plan as to how he was going to pay for them after they had been executed.
Gabby Otchere-Darko challenged Ghanaians to ask Mr. Mahama what he had to offer this time around since former President Mahama did not have any message for the 2020 election.
“When you look at all the research it tells you that the main opposition candidate is not rising but clearly it appears that there is something about his record which I’m not too sure of so I really wonder what his message will be.”
He concluded by saying “unfortunately the alternative is still Mahama and the alternative is still scary.
BY Melvin Tarlue