John Jinapor blames former Energy Minister for $170m loss

John Jinapor, Ranking Member on Parliament’s Energy Committee, has blamed former Minister of Energy, under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s first term, for causing a loss of $170million to the state.

He said the government did not plan effectively and efficiently to defend its decision to terminate the contract and did not take the issue seriously.

According to him, it was wrong to have terminated the agreement the way and manner in which the government went about it.

Speaking on the award of $170 million in damages to Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC) by a Commercial Court in London, Mr Jinapor, Member of Parliament (MP) for Yapei-Kusawgu in the Savannah Region, pointed out that the government could have saved more than US$150 million “if it had listened to good counsel but the Minister decided he would cancel it unilaterally and today, the state is to pay US$170 million which is a whopping and colossal amount”.

The Court in London instructed the government to pay whopping $170 million in damages to claimants for failing to meet set deadlines in contesting alleged unlawful termination of contract between the two parties.

In January, a London-seated UNCITRAL tribunal issued its final award, ordering the government to pay contractually defined “early termination payment” of more than US$134.3 million plus interest and costs.

The government had 28 days to bring challenge to the award but three days before expiry of deadline, its solicitors, Omnia Strategy, applied to the court for a 56-day extension and pleaded bureaucratic processes in preparing challenge delayed.

It was attributed to elections and key members of Attorney General’s Department, had contracted COVID-19 to which the court agreed to extend deadline to March 8, but the government, now represented by Volterra Fietta, submitted challenge to claims by GPGC, on April 1.

But the Commercial Court declined to admit challenge to the award since State Attorneys, together with Godfred Dame, who took over from former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akufo, unduly delayed.

Mr Jinapor agreed with the court’s order and noted that delay in setting up new team could not be strong basis to request an extension, after an earlier request for extension had been granted.–myjoyonline.com

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