The government of Ghana signed the-now-suspended concession agreement with the Power Distribution Services (PDS) in a hurry to meet its contractual demands.
Explaining why the government did not wait to see PDS’ securities before handing over power distribution in Ghana to the company, the Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, said the there was a deadline by which the agreement ought to have started.
This, he told the AM Show on JoyNews Wednesday, was the reason the government had fast-track the signing of the agreement that allowed PDS to take over the management of power distribution from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) on February 27, 2019.
Under the circumstances, instead of the government going to cross-check the company’s guarantees before handing over Ghana’s GH¢18 billion asset to them, they opted to hand it over and cross-check that at a later time.
Ghana stood to benefit from about $500 million Millennium Challenge Account fund but on condition that it reformed the energy sector by bringing on private participation in the management of the sector by way of a concessionaire agreement.
Five months on, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah announced on PM Express on JoyNews on Tuesday that the said concessionaire agreement has been suspended; pending investigations.
The government says upon intelligence gathered, PDS has been found to double-cross the Ghanaian government.
Explaining this, Mr Amewu told Kojo Yankson on the AM Show that the company that PDS claimed was their security — Al Koot from Qatar — has denied having any such agreement with PDS. So the signature was forged, he noted.
The Minister said the official from Al Koot who forged the signature has been suspended by his employers.
Meanwhile, ECG has been asked by the government to resume its role as power distributors.
The Minister said they would be under efficient supervision to ensure they don’t slip into the inefficiencies that plagued consumers before the advent of PDS.
A full-scale investigation into government’s allegations of fraud is expected to begin with Amewu hinting of possible prosecutions. “We will leave that to the security agencies,” he said.