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General News of Thursday, 1 August 2019

Source: Peace FM

'Enough is enough; just terminate PDS agreement' - John Jinapor tells Gov't

Former Deputy Minister of Energy in the erstwhile John Mahama administration, John Jinapor, would rather the NPP-led Akufo-Addo government "terminates" the agreement it has with Power Distribution Services (PDS) than the decision to suspend it as indicated in the release signed by the Information Minister, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.

Government, on Tuesday, suspended its concession agreement with the Power Distribution Services (PDS). This means the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is back in full control of electricity matters.

A statement signed by the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, disclosed that the decision was taken after government detected “fundamental and material breaches of PDS’s obligation in the provision of Payment Securities (Demand Guarantees) for the transaction which has been discovered upon further due diligence.”

According to the statement, “the Demand Guarantees were key prerequisites for the lease of assets on 1st March 2019 to secure the assets that were transferred to the concessionaire.

“The government is conducting a full inquiry into the matter, and the outcome will inform the next course of action. Government has taken steps to ensure distribution, billing and payment services continue uninterrupted,” the statement added.

Terminate PDS Agreement

But commenting on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, Mr Jinapor, who is also the NDC MP for Yapei Kusawgu, wondered why the government cannot conduct the said due diligence within 24 hours to ascertain the truth behind PDS insurance guarantee.

“We should be honest with ourselves that in this modern age, if someone gives you bank guarantee or insurance guarantee, within 24 hours, can’t you determine that it is fake or not? All these while, PDS has been taking the country's money and it has even signed an agreement with Manila, a member of the same concession. PDS has not invested a penny into this agreement”, he chastised.

An angry John Jinapor slammed the Akufo-Addo government for doing away with certain conditionalities in the initial agreement which would have mandated ECG to monitor PDS.

“If this is your property, will you do that? If ECG is your property, will you do what you are doing? Enough is enough. This is the time to terminate this agreement and not to suspend it. Let’s terminate this agreement because PDS has done nothing except disconnecting offices and homes two days after giving light bills. Where is this done? PDS will give you light bills today and the next day, they will come and disconnect your lights”, he fumed.

Watch Interview Below

Way Forward

But the NDC MP believes all is not lost yet, since government can still salvage the situation, if only it is prepared to take certain bold decisions.

He proposed the Akufo-Addo government puts in place a competent board for ECG that will go about its duties devoid of partisan politics, and whose overriding interest will be to see to the betterment of Ghanaians and operations Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

“I am proposing that we should constitute a competent board for ECG. I have no problem if the President will appoint his people to serve on other boards but with ECG, we should look for competent people who will not be on the board and makes decisions that will serve their parochial interests, or decisions based on partisan politics. So that the new management will sign performance contract with specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound objectives. We should also give them key performance indicators and give them the necessary tools needed to manage ECG again; because in 2016, ECG made profits and so ECG can make profits again”, he stated.

In a related development, the Information Minister, Hon Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, who was on the same platform welcomed the advice of the former Deputy Energy Minister in good faith, but pointed out that "everything will be done in accordance with the law"; adding that, in-depth investigations into the agreement with PDS are still ongoing, thus the "outcome will determine the fate of PDS going forward".

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