GOVERNANCE Group Resurrects PDS’ Corpse

A governance think-tank, Governance Watch has challenged the Akufo Addo government to make public the full details of what really led to the collapse of the ill-fated Power Distribution Service (PDS) US$ 1 billion management contract deal with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

“Government may have forgotten it still has obligations towards the Ghanaian public on the matter of Power Distribution Services (PDS) on the state of the loss that has accrued to Ghana following the withdrawal of the USD190 million outstanding obligation on the US Government under Compact II of the Millennium Challenge Corporation that was aimed at putting the power distribution sector in shape and to improve on its efficiency,” the group said in a statement made available to Whatsup News.

PDS had operated from the 1st of March, 2019 until July 30, 2019 when government officially announced its suspension following what government said were “material breaches”.

“Before the release of this statement, the Minister of Energy, Mr. John Peter Amewu described the PDS documentations leading to their takeover of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) as fraudulent, and proceeded to state that fraud vitiates contract,” Governance Watch noted.

Governance Watch wants to know the total revenue collected and expenditure made by PDS between its start of operation in March 2019 and its termination  on 23rd October 2019.

The group also wants to know the total revenue or debt handed over to ECG upon the termination of the PDS deal and the value of the total assets handed over back to ECG by PDS.

“We at Governance Watch, believe that the government’s responses to these 8 questions would help the Ghanaian have a total closure on the operations of PDS. The matters relating to the entire deal, in the manner it emerged and was handled between 30th July and 23rd October did not bring a total resolve to the matter,” the statement read.

“That the country had lost a whopping USD190 million through no fault of the ordinary Ghanaian who was to benefit from the intervention from the Compact II, we demand that government takes steps to ensure that individuals whose actions led to this unfortunate and substantial loss are made to take responsibility for their actions.”

Under the US$ 500 million United States-owned Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC), the government of Ghana was expected to invite Private Sector Participants (PSPs) into the management of ECG. These PSP’s were expected to raise about US$480 million as part of the deal.

However, revelations last week showed that the guarantees provided by the PDS partners from Qatar-based Reinsurance Company Al Koot was fraudulently acquired in what the Energy Ministry believe was a carefully orchestrated fraudulent scheme.

Six companies with track-records in the energy sector were shortlisted but PDS which is 49% owned by Philippines-based Meralco cum Angolan Aenergia SA and 51% owned by questionable Ghanaian companies was handpicked by the Esson Benjamin-led MiDA.

MiDA in a February 6, 2019 letter written to PDS’ Chairman Philip Ayesu, admitted that it was bending the rules in PDS’ favour despite being unable to meet the required financial obligation in the form of a demand guarantees or Letters of Credit (LC) from qualified banks.

PDS was instead allowed to present the required demand guarantee from insurance companies. The demand guarantee secured through reinsurance arrangement with Qatar-based Al-Koot was confirmed fake by Al Koot management about two weeks ago.

This forced the Akufo Addo administration last Tuesday to suspend PDS’s concession with ECG.

The personalities making up PDS’ local partners are curiously connected to the Finance Minister of Ghana Ken Ofori-Atta and the higher echelon of the NPP administration.

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