PDS termination: No need to rush into new concession – Former Minister

PDS termination: No need to rush into new concession – Former Minister
Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com
Date: 24-10-2019 Time: 04:10:01:am

Former Power Minister, Kwabena Donkor has cast doubts over government’s ability to find a new concessionaire to fulfil the power agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

Dr. Donkor says instead of rushing into such a contract, a national discussion should be held on the way forward regarding power distribution in the country.

His comments follow government’s termination of the controversial concession agreement with the Power Distribution Service (PDS) over “material and fundamental” breaches.

Already, the US partners, MCC, who are aiding Ghana with some $500million to boost the power sector as part of a deal to allow private sector participation have noted the decision to cut off PDS with “regret.”

The decision was “unwarranted,” a statement from the US Embassy said.

However, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta in his letter to the MCC says he wants to use restrictive tendering to replace PDS.

The MCC in response ignored this request and only noted that the second tranche of the money, $190million was no longer available to Ghana as a result of the PDS contract termination.

Mr. Ofori Atta is set to address the nation on the way forward in the coming days.

Building on sentiments already expressed, Dr. Donkor told JoyNews’ UpFront programme on Wednesday that a national conversation should be held rather than rushing into another concession.

“You don’t just box yourself with one option,” he told host of UpFront, Raymond Acquah.

Questioning the motive for a new concessionaire, the Pru East MP wondered if the government is trying to please its US partners at the expense of national interest.

He suggested options such as using the stock exchange or a management contract for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Meanwhile, ECG has resumed total control of power distribution since the exit of PDS.

Public Relations Officer of ECG, Yaw Adjei Larbi says the change won’t cause any material changes such as job losses.