Executive Director of ACEP, Ben Boakye has attributed the suspension of government’s concession agreement with the Power Distribution Services to sheer negligence on some persons who were expected to monitor the process before finalising the concession agreement.
According to him, although ACEP is deeply worried by the outcome of the concession agreement, although the announcement came as a little surprise due to the actions and inaction of some related Government agencies.
ACEP said issues such as the failure by Meralco to meet the initial requirement of publishing the name of a local partner in the pre-qualification stages, leaves much to be desired.
Ben Boakye again revealed that although ACEP was selected as chair of the concession committee, it only met MiDA once.
“Last night, a major setback was introduced into the processes to improve the distribution of electricity in Ghana, i.e. the concession agreement with the Power Distribution Services Ghana limited (PDS) was suspended by the Government of Ghana. ACEP is not surprised by the development but deeply worried by the level of negligence that has led to this current situation. Indeed the finest conclusion anyone can give is that this represents the summary of the posture of MiDA in the events leading to the cancelling of the agreement.”
ACEP further demanded the interdiction of officials found culpable in the deal, adding that the background of beneficial owners of the local partner must be audited.
“While ACEP commends Government for quickly mobilising the public interest, the following actions are required, there is the need for the immediate interdiction of the leadership of MIDA to prevent tampering of evidence that may be necessary to support the case of the state.”
“Government must cease with immediate effect the consumption of advance from IFC on the transaction, this is because the IFC has proven incapable of defending the interest of its clients in this case the Ghana Government and MiDA. Government should immediately audit the background of the beneficiaries and local partners in the PDS concession.”
The Minister for Energy, John Peter Amewu in an interesting twist of events on the issue earlier on Wednesday said investigations conducted by the government established that a document that was presented by Power Distribution Service (PDS) as a guarantee for the takeover of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) was forged.
The Minister explained that even though the document indicated that a company in Qatar has guaranteed for PDS, the management of the company told the government it had no knowledge of the document.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Mr. Amewu stated that the government will prosecute anyone found to have engaged in the fraudulent act.
“The investigations that was conducted through due diligence processes had established that the payment guarantee that was submitted by PDS to ECG was for some reasons had the word fraudulent in it. The executing authority denied ownership of such document and therefore had written to ECG to announce that it has got nothing to do with this document.”
The Minority in Parliament has hinted of plans to further investigate the operations of the Power Distribution Services Limited (PDS).
According to the Minority Spokesperson on the Mines and Energy Committee, Adams Mutawakilu, government has been unfair to Ghanaians by not adhering to earlier concerns raised about the agreement.
We’ve acted in good faith in execution of power concession deal – PDS
Power Distribution Service (PDS) has also denied wrongdoing in its concession agreement with the government through the Ministry of Finance.
The company, in a statement, said it “wishes to state for the record that it has always acted and will continue to act in good faith at all times.”
The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah in a statement on Tuesday said, PDS’ concession agreement was suspended after the government discovered some breaches in the company’s obligation in the provision of Payment Securities.