Hold people involved in PDS deal accountable – NDC demands
The opposition National Democratic Congress has asked the government to render account for monies collected by the Power Distribution Service (PDS) in its seven months of operations.
National Communication Officer of the party, Sammy Gyamfi addressing a press conference Monday morning said, persons who were complicit in the fraudulent PDS deal which was terminated under questionable circumstances must be made to cough out all the money back into the National coffers.
“In order to safeguard their interest in the concession the Akufo-Addo government shamefully conspire to bend the rules for PDS by changing the key requirement of bank guarantee to a less liquid instrument, an insurance guarantee thereby jeopardizing over GHC 20billion assets of ECG,” he said.
On March 1, 2019, Ghana Power Distribution Services, Ltd. (PDS) assumed operation and management of the staff and assets of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) under a 20-year concession agreement. Private sector participation is a central reform under MCC’s Ghana Power Compact.
This was considered critical to the long-term sustainability of related infrastructure investments and the financial recovery of the energy sector in Ghana.
But barely seven months later, the government terminated the deal.
Although the decision to privatise the country’s electricity distribution process pre-date the NPP administration, Mr Gyamfi stated that the appointees of President Akufo-Addo who took the decision of selling assets of ECG to PDS are still walking free on the streets of Accra
“This reckless and nation-wrecking decision was taken by high ranking members of the Akufo-Addo government including the Vice President,” he said.
The government of Ghana on July 30, 2019, announced the suspension of the contract with PDS, barely six months after the company took over from ECG.
A statement from the Ministry of Information said the decision was taken after the government discovered some breaches in the company’s obligation in the provision of Payment Securities.
But the NDC accused the government of complicity, saying “They aided PDS to hand over a fraudulent document to ECG as same was described by the Auditor General” he added.
Sammy Gyamfi alleged that shares in PDS were allotted to cronies of the NPP under the guise of promoting local companies.
“Under the guise of promoting local content, 51% of PDS was allocated to friends and families of this government under very shady circumstances,” he said.
The communication Director stated how the NDC’s flagbearer and former president John Dramani Mahama will not be a clearing agent for corruption when elected in the 2020 elections.
“As president Mahama has already announced when he is given the opportunity to serve this country again, he shall wage a ruthless war against corruption in all sectors of our nation under an anti-corruption crusader dubbed operation stink “he added.
He pledged that a Mahama-led government will ensure that all $1.5billion collected by PDS will be accounted for.
Why the deal
The concession allowed private sector participation (PSP) in the management of the ECG.
This was to make the utility provider more efficient in order for Ghana to access $498 million from the USA government for its power sector under the US Millennium Challenge Compact II (MCC II), popularly known as the power compact.
The MCC II is aimed at transforming the ECG in terms of technology and efficiency in power distribution to become a stronger company able to meet national needs.
It was signed between the MCC, acting on behalf of the USA government, and the government of Ghana on August 4, 2014.
The Power Distribution Services (PDS) Ghana Limited owned 51% of the shares in PDS when it was operating.
The Ghanaian local consortium holding the 51 per cent of the shares in PDS are TG Energy Solutions Limited (TG), a lead local consortium sponsor with 18 per cent; Santa Baron Ventures Limited (Santa); a local technical lead with 13 per cent; GTS Engineering Services Limited (GTS), a local financial lead with 10 per cent and TBK Ghana Limited (TBK), a local financial sponsor also with 10 per cent.
The remaining 49 per cent shares are for two foreign companies, Manila Electric Company Limited (Meralco), a Filipino company with 30 per cent shares and Aenergia, an Angolan company with 19 per cent shares.