General News Sat, 10 Aug 2019
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the decision to suspend the concession agreement with PDS was taken to protect the over US$3 billion worth of assets of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).He added that, going public on the agreement suspension was “for the country to know exactly what is going on, and, therefore, hold the government to account for its stewardship”.
He was addressing the Ghanaian community in Angola as part of his two-day state visit at the invitation of the Angolan President, Manuel Gonçalves Lourençost.
President Akufo-Addo said his Government inherited an arrangement in which the United States (US) Government, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), had offered the country half-a-billion dollars for the reform of the energy sector, particularly the ECG. .
One of the conditions for the facility was for Ghana to get a private electricity coordinator to partner with ECG to manage electricity generation and the distribution system.
After, a bidding and tendering process, PDS was selected to take over the running of the assets of the ECG.
The government, he said, later discovered that there had been breaches of the concession agreement by PDS – a fundamental requirement that it put up a guarantee to cover US$400 million, and "as a result of that, we have had to suspend the concession until all the facts are established.”
“It turned out that there are problems with this guarantee. Therefore, the protection that we should have in the transaction was not really there.
"The matter came to our notice, and we decided that the first thing to do was to protect the public assets by suspending the agreement with this private sector operator and returning the assets to the control of the ECG whilst a process of investigation was being carried out.”
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that a delegation had been sent to Qatar, the origin of the company, to find out what the situation was and that by the time he got back to Accra "we will know exactly where we are.”
He said suspension of the agreement was to make sure that there was no delinquency, and," if that is what it turns out to be, nipped in the bud as soon as possible,” because the ECG's assets were not one to be taken lightly.
He gave the assurance that the suspension of the agreement with PDS “will not disturb the flow of electricity in the country. Things will continue on a stable basis.”