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General News Mon, 5 Aug 2019

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Ofori-Atta knew of PDS fraud - Minority

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The Minority in Parliament has accused the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, of having knowledge that the guarantee by Power Distribution Service (PDS) was fake.

According to the Minority, though the minister knew, he decided not to act on the anomaly for reasons best known to him alone, “therefore, this government cannot feign ignorance about the fraudulent guarantee at the time it was presented.”

“Indeed, I want to put on record that the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, was well aware that the guarantee that was posted was fraudulent, and I shall demonstrate to you with incontrovertible evidence.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I hold in my hands a letter signed by Mr Ken Ofori-Atta on the 27th of March, 2019, appointing Lawyer Akoto Ampaw, a known Lawyer of the President, during the case of the [election] petition at the Supreme Court, to restructure the entire concession, constitute an SPV, and possibly incorporate additional people in the structure. In that letter, the Minister confirms that the PDS structure was troubling, was worrying, and it was not fit for purpose,” the Minority claimed.

Government has had to suspend its concession agreement with PDS, blaming it on a detection of fundamental and material breaches of PDS’ obligations in the provision of payment securities (Demand Guarantees) for the transaction, which have been discovered upon further due diligence.

A statement that announced the suspension said the demand guarantees were key prerequisites for the lease of assets to PDS on March 1, 2019, to secure the assets that were transferred to the concessionaire.

Signed by the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the statement said the government was conducting a full enquiry into the matter, and the outcome would inform the next course of action.

Meanwhile, former Deputy Minister for Energy in charge of Power, John Jinapor, addressing journalists in Parliament yesterday on the issue, asked Ghanaians not to accept the government’s claim that it suspended the concession because of due diligence.

Speaking on behalf of the Minority, which represents the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Jinapor asserted that “this excuse is only a ruse – they (Government) were forewarned.”

He accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of not following through on the initial requirement of the condition precedent as far as the guarantee was concerned, thereby, jeopardising the whole concession.

According to the Minority, the concession, in its current state, will certainly not serve the interests of Ghana, adding that if the concession was left to continue, it had the potential of destabilising the whole energy sector.

“Therefore, this concession agreement must be terminated without any further delay. Identify and prosecute those responsible for the fraudulent guarantee, as confirmed by the Minister of Energy.

“Ensure full refund of all monies appropriated by PDS through this fraudulent scheme and their collaborators. Dissolve the current ECG Board and appoint a competent non-partisan board. Restructure the current management of ECG and ensure they sign performance bonds with management for [the] efficient supply of power to Ghanaians,” he concluded.



Source: thechronicle.com.gh

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