You are here: HomeNews2019 10 22Article 791886

General News of Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Source: abcnewsgh.com

Government trying to 'cook ECG concession for themselves' – Asiedu Nketia alleges

The National Democratic Congress has demanded that the government rescind its decision to adopt a restrictive tender approach to select a replacement for the Power Distribution Services to manage the assets of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), ABC News can report.

Government after announcing the intended termination of its power concession agreement with PDS indicated that it will select a new partner for the power concession agreement through a restrictive tendering process without compromising the integrity of the procurement process.

But the move, according to the opposition NDC, is a scam and will only see government hand over the stare asset to its cronies. The party at a media briefing on Monday said government has failed to demonstrate that it has the interest of the state at heart in its handling of the PDS debacle, for which reason it cannot trust its decision to resort to a restrictive tendering process in selecting a new partner.

General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia at the said press conference accused the government of plotting to “cook the ECG Concession for themselves” against the interest of the state.

“This is not an option that Ghanaians and the MCC should even consider. It is a no no. Ghanaians can never and should never trust the very same Ken Ofori Atta, Keli Gadzekpo, Esson Benjamin, Dr. Bawumia and President Akufo-Addo who caused this PDS mess to do any thorough job,” he said.

He added that “in fact, the proposal to use restrictive tendering to select a replacement for PDS is yet another well-calculated scheme to allow the Akufo-Addo government cook the ECG Concession for themselves.”

The NDC urged the government to undertake a total clean-up of all relevant state institutions and actors who are responsible for the PDS saga even before the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) indicates its official position on the matter.

The clean-up, the party indicated, must include dissolution of the boards of the Millennium Development Authority and the ECG, and the outright dismissal of some government officials, including the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori -Atta.

“It is imperative, that these urgent actions be taken even as we await the official position of the MCC on the termination of the PDS Concession and the future of the Power Compact. The NDC holds the view, that any attempt to select another concessionaire will be tantamount to fetching water with a leaking basket if those who caused this PDS mess are still post,” Mr Asiedu Nketia stated.

In July this year, government announced the suspension of the PDS concession agreement and explained that the decision followed the “detection of fundamental and material breaches of PDS’s obligation in the provision of Payment Securities (Demand Guarantees) for the transaction which were discovered upon further due diligence”.

The government consequently set up a committee to investigate the matter and ascertain, among other things, whether Al Koot authorised the issuance of the guarantees on behalf of PDS and in favour of ECG.

The committee concluded that “there is no valid or enforceable demand issued by Al Koot in support of the LAA and BSA.”

On July 30, the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) engaged FTI Consulting, to conduct a forensic audit over the alleged fraudulent guarantee documents submitted.

A 32-page report submitted by FTI Consulting to MiDA, and signed by Pat Pericak and David Okhumal, both officials of the consulting firm, said: “We have not seen any documents that would suggest that, as of March 1, 2019, PDS, Cal Bank, Donewell and/or personnel from MiDA should have questioned the validity of the payment securities.”

Following the reports, government in a letter of intent to the MCC over the weekend announced its intents to terminate its power concession agreement with the PDS.