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No sweetheart deal with Fidelity Bank – ECG insists

Source The Ghana Report

The Electricity Company of Ghana has dismissed suggestions that it struck a “sweetheart deal” with Fidelity Bank Ghana that led to the loss of 80 million cedis to the state.

This is in response to claims by the Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons, that ECG purchased 43 million US dollars from Fidelity Bank at an inflated exchange rate of 13.95 cedis in October 2023 when the actual interest rate was below 12 cedis to the US dollar.

Mr. Simons also claimed that the decision to engage Fidelity Bank to operate ECG’s single settlement account was influenced by a member of the ECG board, Maataa Opare, who also happens to be the Legal Director of Fidelity Bank, indicating a conflict of interest.

However, in a statement issued in Accra, signed by communications director, William Boateng, ECG pointed out that in October 2023, it only procured a total amount of 10 million US dollars through Fidelity Bank at exchange rates between 11.85 and 11.95 cedis.

“The circulating cash waterfall spreadsheet that suggests that 43 million USD was procured at a rate of 13.95 is a standard estimation sheet and does not represent the actuals,” the statement said.

The ECG also rejected the suggestion of a conflict of interest on the part of Maataa Opare, insisting that she had “in compliance with good governance and the Companies Act 2019, recused herself from all discussions and decisions relative to Fidelity Bank.”

“Fidelity was appointed the operator of the single account in 2023 after the finalization of Cabinet’s decision to operate such an account,” the statement said. “The appointment was based on the merit of the efficiency and responsiveness in ECG’s prior dealings with Fidelity Bank.”

Fidelity Bank has filed a suit against Mr. Simons, for alleged defamation, demanding 20 million cedis in damages. The suit says Mr. Simons’ claims about the so-called “sweetheart deal” amounts to defamation and has seriously dented the bank’s reputation.

 

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