The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is to assume oversight responsibility of movement of funds to and from all accounts operated by the Power Distribution Services (PDS).
This is a measure put in place by the Finance Ministry to ensure transparency “in the operations of the revenue accounts, which are to be controlled by the ECG during the period that the suspension of the electricity sales license to PDS is in force.”
The Finance Ministry, in a letter to the PDS, ECG, Energy Commission, PURC and copied other sector agencies, said it is facilitating the de-freezing of the accounts of PDS.
“The Ministry of Finance is currently facilitating the de-freezing of PDS accounts to ensure that there are funds to support the day-to-day operations.”
The Finance Ministry in the letter dated August 6, 2019 and sighted by citinewsroom.com said the move is in “pursuant to the Energy Commission’s appointment of ECG as the interim operator of the electricity retail sales license in the southern distribution zone.”
The Financial Intelligence Center (FIC) in Ghana last week directed all Rural Banks and Savings and Loans companies to immediately freeze all accounts belonging to PDS.
According to the FIC, the move was to ensure that law enforcement agencies conduct investigations into matters regarding breaches detected with the demand guarantee of the concession agreement of PDS.
The Finance Ministry in the letter stated that: “PDS will continue to operate their existing bank accounts. PDS must lodge all cash and cheque collections into the bank accounts intact. No staff of PDS is permitted to keep any cash/cheque collected.”
ECG according to the Finance Ministry must also be provided with detailed revenue collection and expenditure report on a weekly basis and the relevant bank statements “to support same at the close of business daily. ECG must approve all payments, transfers and disbursement of funds from the PDS bank accounts before they are effected.”
“ECG must on a daily basis be furnished [by PDS] with details of outflows from the revenue accounts,” the letter added.
Gov’t suspends PDS concession
The government of Ghana on July 30, 2019 suspended a concession agreement with PDS for distribution of power in Ghana with immediate effect following what it said was the discovery “of fundamental and material breaches of PDS’ obligation in the provision of Payment Securities (Demand Guarantees).”
Government later announced that it had launched a full-scale inquiry into the breaches and a committee made up of experts comprising insurance investigation experts, officials of the Energy and Finance ministries and officials of the ECG and MIDA as well had 30 days to complete the probe.
PDS presented forged document – Amewu
Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, subsequently said investigations conducted by the government had established that some of the documents presented by PDS as a guarantee for the takeover were forged.