Come clean on PDS concession agreement-NDC urges Govt

In the wake of the brouhaha surrounding the agreement of PDS and government, the main opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) at an emergency press briefing at its headquarters in Accra, is accusing President Akuffo Addo led government of short changing its thirty percent share in the power distribution industry in the country to a new company called Meridian Power Ventures Limited in Hong Kong.

The party says it happened at the blind side of Parliament, that is without the approval of the law legislators of the land and two people of Ghana.

Addressing the press, the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Aseidu Nketiah indicated that, the party unearthed this new deal between the government and the company from Hong Kong after sighting a letter written by Meridian Power Ventures to the Chairperson of the Millennium Development Authority( MiDA), Professor Yaa Ntiamoah Baidoo for a special board meeting.

“Since the negotiation for the turnover of the ECG assets and facilities, after the PDS consortium declared the preferred bidder in the ECG concession, there have been several issues that have arisen in connection with the management and governance of the ECG concession, as well as Board of PDS which unfortunately have not been fully addressed, including the prolonged suspension of the license of PDS and the ECG concession and the issues on the demand guarantee”, the letter stated.

The unearthed letter further said, “Any further delay on this issue will be prejudicial to the best interest of all stakeholders, especially the electricity consumers of Ghana. We will like to give the assurance that we will act with dispatch to immediately resolve and address these issues in the Special Board Meeting that we called for which we trust will enable the immediate restring of the PDS board and management towards a more effective governance structure and management. We are calling on the government to come out because there are very serious constitutional issues that have been raised on this matter”.

On the other hand, the government of Ghana suspended the PDS deal over what it termed as fundamental and structural breaches in the demand guarantees covering the agreement.

It is, however, yet to take a firm decision on the future of the controversial deal after its announcement of suspending the contract with PDS on July 30, 2019, barely six months after the company took over from ECG.

This suspension order according to government at that time was due to what it called material breaches in the provision of the demand guarantees by PDS, which were key prerequisites for the turn over of the assets and facilities.

Hence, PDS failed in its obligation of payment securities for the transaction which was discovered upon further due diligence.

Meanwhile, a leaked report from a probe by FTI Consulting, a United States-based consulting firm, commissioned by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) into the allegations, pointed out that, there was no evidence to suggest any of the entities involved in the deal conspired to defraud the state.

This report further indicated that PDS duly won the contract to manage the assets of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and stressed that, the insurance guarantees were paid to back PDS’ takeover of the assets and operations of the ECG.

However, the government of Ghana rejected some parts of the report insisting that, the report was misleading and advised, “everybody to just tarry whilst it [the full report] is all put together in the various parties.”

PDS is a consortium between Manila Electric (Meralco) of The Philippines, 30%, Aenergia SA (Angola), 19%; Santa Baron Ventures Ghana, 13%, TG Energy Solution Ghana, 18%, GTS Engineering Ghana Limited, 10%, and TBK Ghana Limited, 10%.

Source: Ishmael Barfi

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