Civil society group, Crusaders Against Corruption which advocates effective and efficient public sector administration has given the Akufo-Addo government a six-month ultimatum to ensure maximum Ghanaian ownership in Power Distribution Services Limited (PDS).The government of Ghana reached a concession agreement with PDS to take charge of and manage power distribution in Ghana.
PDS became the first private company to manage ECG after Ghana won the Power Compact II that is expected to inject some $900 million into Ghana’s power distribution.
However, the government announced a suspension of the concession agreement with PDS on Tuesday, 30 July 2019.
The decision was communicated via a press release by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah. 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 has been discovered upon further due diligence”.
The government said a full probe has been initiated and steps have been taken to ensure that “distribution, billing and payment services continue uninterrupted”.
In a press statement issued on Wednesday, 2 October 2019, Mr Emmanuel Wilson, the Chief Convener for the Crusaders, said after petitions to the US Embassy for a probe and studying various reports presented after probes, the group demands that President Nana Akufo-Addo “institute immediate plans to open up the ownership of the company PDS to all Ghanaians, and not limit it to just a handful of individuals and companies”.
The group explained that such an action will ensure that “we don’t only sufficiently capitalise PDS effectively, but we also have an opportunity to share in whatever gains are made from the privatisation of this national asset. We expect this to be done within six months from today”.
In addition, the group said it wants the president “to communicate, within the next two weeks, to the nation, the government’s final position and decision” on the matter and “terminate the PDS contract”.
It wants the contract to be “handed over to Ghanaian Consortium Management Team and all funds withdrawn from ECG’s cashflow analysed forensically”.