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Gov’t was not negligent in PDS fiasco – Energy ministry

Source The Ghana Report/Sefanam Agbobli

The energy ministry has mounted a spirited defense over the controversial Power Distribution Services’ (PDS) agreement debacle.

Head of communications and public affairs at the energy ministry, Nana Damoah says government was not negligent in its handling of the botched deal.

In an interview, Mr. Damoah said two key advisors to the managers of the Compact; International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Hunton and Williams, an international law firm based in New York were given the job to do due diligence.

Spokesperson for the energy ministry noted that Government was concerned with whether the due diligence the two entities were enforcing on the PDS deal was in accordance with relevant laws.

“You are in a transaction where you have appointed a transaction advisor. The transaction advisers’ job is to carry out all of these necessary due diligence tests.”

He added that the government, through the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), requested more details which were not satisfactory.

The further requests were on the validity of the demand guarantees purportedly issued by a Qatari insurance firm, Al Koot Insurance and Reinsurance, which eventually became the source fraud that led to the eventual termination of the PDS deal.

Mr. Damoah stressed the vigilance on the part of the state saying it was critical to appreciate that “the government did not act wrongly in doing that neither was government negligent.”

“A transaction advisor has been appointed. He has been given the necessary roles to play and he has played the roles however it was the vigilance of government that has resulted in these things.”

Following the cancellation of the PDS deal, there have already been calls for sanctions.

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), for instance, has demanded that the government cause the arrest and prosecution of persons who represented Ghana in signing the now cancelled concession deal.

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