A social accountability group known as the Coalition for Social Justice (CSJ), is demanding answers from the Akufo- Addo led government to some eleven “critical” questions related to the awarding and subsequent suspension of a contract between the state and Power Distribution Services Company (PDS).The eleven questions were posed by the pressure group during a press conference addressed by its Director of Operations, Brogya Genfi, held at the Press Centre of the Ghana Journalist Association in Accra on Thursday.
The purpose of the press conference, the group said, was to address Ghanaians on some pertinent issues which included the mid-year budget review, the PDS scandal which it described as “the mother of all scandals” and other issues of corruption within the Akufo-Addo government.
On the mid-year budget review, the group focused on government’s decision to scrap what it termed an “obnoxious and problematic” Luxury Vehicle Tax. The group said government was compelled to scrap the levy as a result of demands it made during the “Kum Y3n Preko demonstration” it organised in Accra last month.
The group stated that, even though government has repealed the law, government has not been wholly truthful to the Ghanaian people as it has left out a liability clause as a condition for renewal of roadworthy certificates, this they highlighted, means that people who have outstanding roadworthy certificates to renew, still carry the burden of paying the Luxury Vehicle tax.
The group says, it sees this act by the government as a show of bad faith and therefore called for the immediate scrap of the tax in its entirety by waiving away the liability on all defaulters.
The group further described the upward review and introduction of some new taxes by government in the mid-year budget review, as regrettable and unacceptable characteristics of wickedness and insensitivity being exhibited by the Akufo-Addo administration.
The finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, delivering the mid-year budget review in parliament last month, revealed that power being generated by the country currently exceeds demand, which has resulted in government incurring massive debts. The minister attributed the situation to some Take or Pay contracts the previous government signed with some power generators.
Reacting to the ministers’ statement the group said, the minister only sought to provide lame propositions as justification for the increment of taxes. It stated that the reason for Ghana’s excess power capacity is as a result of government’s “tortoise-motion-style of rural electrification to the remaining 17% of Ghanaian communities without power.”
Speaking on government’s decision to suspend the contract of Power Distribution Services Company (PDS), the Coalition for Social Justice say, the force behind the agreement between government and PDS from its inception was for nothing but the “usual chop-chop”, as having some kingpins of the ruling party complicit in the deal, caused government to ignore all the red flags that were raised mostly by members of the minority in parliament.
“In our view, this is the single most scandalous and stinky corrupt deal of all times to have befallen our dear nation”, the group said.
The group sought governments full disclosure on some facts related to the PDS scandal through some eleven questions it listed, the questions are;
1. Why did government allow for PDS the takeover of ECG when about half of the conditions had not been met?
2. Why did the Finance Minister, who is the cousin of President Akufo-Addo demand for the redistribution of shares of the Ghanaian companies in the deal after the takeover?
3.Under what circumstances – sole sourcing? – did the private former legal partner of President Akufo-Addo, Mr. Akoto Ampaw, become the negotiator of this unholy redistribution of shares?
4. What role did the Attorney General and Minister of Justice play in the whole process?
5. How much has PDS invested in ECG since the takeover?
6. How many officials of Government travelled to Qatar, have they returned to Ghana and what did they find?
7. What is contained in the PDS letter to the Energy Minister on 6th August 2019 and how did that letter influence ECG’s decision to reappoint PDS to continue the agreement contrary to the President’s fake assurances?
8. Who are the shareholders of TBK World Plus Company and what is their relationship with President-Akufo Addo and his family?
9. What is the update on the alleged disruption of the travel plans of the Chief Executive Officer of Donewell Insurance Company and the subsequent confiscation of his passport?
10. Why did a Bank Guarantee approved by Parliament as a condition precedent to signing the agreement change into insurance guarantee and a condition precedent instead of condition precedent? And
11. What is the role of CalBank in all this fraudulent insurance guarantee?
The group further bemoaned what it sees to be other instances of corruption witnessed under the Akufo-Addo administration and concluded its address by indicating it will conduct another demonstration in the Northern Regional Capital, Tamale, in September to protest against “tax hikes, hardships, insensitivity, the corruption and mismanagement that has gripped Ghana, insecurity and oppression of citizens and the press”