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Business News of Saturday, 28 September 2019


Meralco didn’t invest even $1 into PDS, they can go – Energy analyst retorts

Energy analyst, Kojo Poku Energy analyst, Kojo Poku

Energy analyst, Kojo Poku has called the bluff of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) as the latter threatens to pull out its investments in the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) concession deal with Power Distribution Services (PDS).

“My question to them is what are they pulling out?” Mr. Kojo Poku snapped in an interview on TV3 Midday Live on Friday.

Meralco serving as foreign technical partners, together with some Ghanaian investors that formed PDS, was expected to invest some $580 million over a period of five years and continue its investment year after year throughout the concession period.

PDS was contracted by the government of Ghana to manage the operations of the ECG with assets worth over $3 billion for 20 years starting from Friday, March 1, 2019.

Months into its operation, the government of Ghana suspended the concession agreement in July ending, pointing to fraudulent transaction.

Meanwhile, Meralco which has 48 percent stake in PDS says it wants to back out of the deal citing “political risk” in Ghana.

But Kojo Poku who is well vested in the deal laughed it off, saying the Filipino company has yet to invest a dime into the deal.

“Meralco has not brought any investment into Ghana… Meralco, as I speak to you now, has not transferred one dollar into Ghana, Meralco should come and show us the account and how much has been transferred to Ghana,” he threw the challenge in an interview with Grace Asare.

The analyst also rebuffed the political situation being assigned to Meralco’s decision, reemphasizing the economic and political stability in the country.

He commended the government for suspending the deal, which he said has excited civil society groups who have since time immemorial spoken against the agreement.

The privatization of the management of Ghana’s power distributor, ECG, was a condition precedent for Ghana to access some $535.7 million from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) to transform the country’s power sector.

Since the handing over of ECG to PDS, Kojo Poku observed that there was only change of name but same staff were migrated from ECG to PDS.

“If they said they are going to pull out, bye, bye; they should go,” he retorted.