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General News of Thursday, 26 August 2021


Special Prosecutor petitioned to probe ECG’s US$36m electric metres purchase

INSTEPR has tabled a petition before the Office of the Special Prosecutor INSTEPR has tabled a petition before the Office of the Special Prosecutor

• The Office of the Special Prosecutor has been petitioned over an alleged fraudulent purchase

• It involves the procurement of some unused electricity metres by the ECG worth US$36 million

• The deal was said to have taken place in 2016

The Institute for Energy Policies and Research (INSTEPR) has tabled a petition at the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

The petition is requesting an investigation into the circumstances resulting in the procurement of some US$36 million worth of electricity metres by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) back in 2016.

The energy think-tank in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Kwadwo Poku described the purchase as fraudulent hence their decision to submit the petition.

“Key appointees within the NDC government in 2015/16 planned this transaction to defraud the State through the acquisition of Electric meters for ECG,” INSTEPR noted.

The energy think-tank said the probe was necessary to avert the financial losses the energy sector often incurs.

“The energy sector has become an area where people entrusted with the finances of this country, seem to siphon millions of cedis of state money into private accounts,” the think-tank said.

A case in point, according to INSTEPR read, “We have come across numerous questionable payments totaling over GH¢112,596,555.88 to a Company called First Grace Limited within 20015 and 2016. There is also a payment of GH¢238,633,370.61 paid out to 21 companies through a government agency, for whom these companies have done no work or engaged Ina contract,” the statement read in part.

Meanwhile, in the think-tank's previous findings, it claimed the Ministry of Energy specifically under the Power Ministry through the Ministry of Finance back in 2016 under the John Dramani Mahama administration paid an amount of US$36 million to L & R Investment and Trading Company Limited and its local partners in Ghana, Messrs L & R Investment and First Grace Limited for the supply of single-phase and three-phase electric meters to ECG.

The contract price for the supply of these meters which was to be undertaken in 26 weeks was US$39,999,566.44, according to the energy think-thank.

INTESPR said the after the contract was agreed, a payment advance of US$12 million was made to L & R Investments including a Letter of Credit (LC) of US$24 million which meant the L&R Investments were expected to meet certain product specifications and standards prior to shipping the meters to Ghana.

But the company is said to have failed in the manufacturing of the devices per the specifications and standards yet still managed to ship the electrical meters to Ghana.

INTESPR also claims that the unused electric meters are currently locked in a warehouse belonging to the ECG because they did not meet the required product specifications and standards.