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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ghana to lose $1.5 billion over "uninteligent contract"

The former Deputy High Commissioner for Britain is raising alarm over what he says is an “unintelligent contract” entered into by the government of Ghana and an American company, Balkan Energy Company LLC.

Mr Gregg Murray alleges that government of Ghana continues to lose a whooping amount of $1.5 billion every year, as a result of the contract.

According to him, only an “extremely stupid” person could enter into such an agreement and wondered which official signed on behalf of government.

Balkan Energy Company LLC was contracted in 2007 to repair and operate the Osagyefo Badge which is expected to generate 185 megawatts of power, with its dual fired unit which can operate on diesel as well as natural gas.

Balkan Energy is also expected to convert the barge into a combined cycle power plant with an incremental capacity of 60MW within 9 months after the effective date of the agreement at a cost of about $100 million.

But Mr Murray in an interview with Citi News said the deal was fraudulent and urged the government to abrogate the contract.

“They are charging government of Ghana $45 million a year for providing electricity from a plant which already belongs to the government Ghana. It is like you lease your own car to somebody, they are going to lease the Osagyefo barge for $10 million a year.”

“…I wish I understood why nothing has been done,” I think the government is very concerned to act legally.

“It is hard to say whether the agreement was just negotiated by somebody extremely stupid and incompetent and corrupt.”

“Either way this contract must be abrogated or it is going to cost the people of Ghana an amount of $1.5 million,” he sniped.

Gregg Murray also mentioned another agreement entered into with Zakheim by the Volta River Authority, of which the former is to provide turbines to the people of Ghana.

According to him the agreement stinks of corruption and called on government to take immediate action.

Mr Murray also criticized recent statements from the British High Commission which sought to prevent any government investigations into deals entered into with the British companies operating in the country.

The current High Commissioner Nicholas Wescott has however denied any wrong doing from the commission.

Story by Nathan Gadugah with additional files from Citi FM and Daily Guide

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