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General News Thu, 1 Aug 2019

PDS fiasco: NPP cabal robbed state – Minority

The Minority in Parliament has called on the Akufo-Addo administration to completely abrogate the agreement signed between the Power Distribution Services (PDS) Limited and the government of Ghana, which led to the takeover of the country’s national power supply by the private firm from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

According to the opposition MPs, the deal was a bad one for the state and should, therefore, be cancelled.

They also alleged that the agreement was designed to enrich some members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The government of Ghana recently suspended its concession agreement with PDS.

The decision was communicated via a press release by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on Tuesday, 30 July 2019.

The statement said the action to put the agreement on hold was necessitated by “the detection of fundamental and material breaches of PDS’ obligation in the provision of Payment Securities (Demand Guarantees) for the transaction which have been discovered upon further due diligence”.

The government said a full probe has been initiated into the agreement and steps have been taken to ensure that “distribution, billing and payment services continue uninterrupted”.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, 1 August 2019, Mr John Jinaopr, Member of Parliament for Yapei/Kusegu said the deal should be cancelled.

He said: “Detailed checks have revealed that PDS has so far not injected the needed financial capital as stipulated under the concession agreement. On the contrary, the company has resorted to appropriating all revenues collected from consumers (including expected payments to Transmission and Generation Companies) in a bid to shore up their revenue requirements. In effect, they are using other state-owned companies’ money to artificially enhance their balance sheet whiles those companies wallow in spiraling debt.

“How can a company supposedly contracted to inject capital to improve the electricity sector turn around to depend on ECG’s already-existing funds for their operations? This is a clear case of 'Rob Peter to Pay Paul' by an NPP cabal of friends and business cronies.

“Fellow Ghanaians the so-called suspension of the Concession is only a smokescreen to cover up government's complicity in this whole scandal of gargantuan proportion.

“As it stands, the concession in its current state will certainly not serve the interest of Ghana. The concession is highly inimical to the aspirations of Ghana’s power sector goals and can tip our dear country into ‘Dumsor’ because of choking debts not because IPPs lack capacity to produce power.”

He added that: “This concession, if left to continue, has the potential of destabilising the whole energy sector with very serious consequences including rising cost of power and crippling of power generation companies.

“Therefore, this concession agreement must be terminated without any further delay. We further wish to serve notice that we shall not countenance any attempt to reintroduce other so-called private sector players or the constitution of an SPV which we know has been on the Akufo-Addo Government’s table for a while.”

Source: classfmonline.com
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