Engage NDC on PDS deal to end controversy – Kweku Baako advises gov’t

Engage NDC on PDS deal to end controversy – Kweku Baako advises gov’t
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | George Nyavor | george.nyavor@myjoyonline.com
Date: 19-10-2019 Time: 10:10:15:am
Abdul Malik Kweku Baako

Veteran journalist, Adbul Malik Kweku Baako, has counselled the Executive to engage with the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the state’s power agreement with Power Distribution Services (PDS).

He believes engaging the NDC will cure the controversy over the deal.

“We need to take a national approach on this matter,” he said Saturday on Joy FM/MultiTV’s Newsfile.

The opposition NDC claims it has intercepted a document that allegedly exposes a clandestine plan by the government to loot the assets of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) through the PDS concession agreement.

The intercepted document, a letter addressed to the Chairperson of Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, according to the NDC, shows a secret process to restructure the shareholding of Power Distribution Services (PDS) on the blind side of Ghanaians.

Dated Monday, October 14, the letter was jointly signed by Ernio Acuna of Meridian Power Ventures (MEIRDIAN), which owns 30 per cent shares in PDS, and Jorge Morgado of Aenergy, which owns 19 per cent.

According to the letter, Meralco has offloaded its 30% shares to an unknown company, Meridian Power Ventures Limited which, according to the NDC was only incorporated in Hong Kong in June 2018 without recourse to Parliament.

The NDC says the letter is proof of a sinister motive and has questioned the share of Meridian Power Ventures in PDS.

The party has given a 24-hour ultimatum to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to make a full disclosure on the planned restructuring of the PDS shareholding, which it says is proceeding without Parliamentary approval.

The party says it may head to court or haul the Minister to Parliament if its demands do not receive a favourable response.

Speaking on the matter, the Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper said the state “will succeed if it builds a national consensus” on the matter.

Controversy

An independent forensic probe recently stated that allegations of fraud in the takeover of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) by Power Distribution Service (PDS) were unfounded.

The forensic report stated that the entities involved in the PDS concession were did not conspire to commit fraud against the state as earlier suspected by government.


The government on July 30 announced the suspension of the contract with PDS, barely six months after the company took over from ECG.

The decision, according to Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, “…follows 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 diligence. The Demand Guarantees were key prerequisites for the lease of assets on March 1, 2019, to secure the assets that were transferred to the concessionaire.”

Subsequently, MiDA hired the services of an independent investigator, FIT Consulting, on August 16, to conduct forensic audit over the alleged fraudulent guarantee documents submitted.

Documents revealed that the private auditor hired by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), did not find any information to suggest that either PDS, Cal Bank, Donewell and or personnel from MiDA committed or conspired to commit fraud or other malfeasance, in relation to the demand guarantees.