PDS saga: Information Minister rubbishes Minority's petition to U.S.

PDS saga: Information Minister rubbishes Minority's petition to U.S.
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | GN
Date: 15-08-2019 Time: 07:08:08:am
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has dismissed a claim by the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the government cannot be trusted to properly probe the Power Distribution Services (PDS) concession fiasco.

The Minister has given the assurance that the government has the integrity to conduct a good probe.

“No country will take it lightly if you have senior politicians of their own stock literally calling on the international community and say that ‘we don’t trust our government come and investigate’.

“This administration can be trusted to get to the bottom of this matter and in the spirit of transparency, …we will update the nation and all stakeholders on what we find. This new drama is one of their many antics and we put it on the desk of the antics that they usually come up with,” said the Information Minister.

The comments by the Minister comes in the wake of the petition by the Minority to the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S. Sullivan, demanding investigations by the US Government into the fiasco.

Petition

The Minority in Parliament has petitioned the US Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S. Sullivan, demanding formal investigations by the American government into the PDS concession scandal

The petition signed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu was personally hand-delivered at the US Embassy in Accra by the Honourable Ranking Member on Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

The Minority in a release Wednesday sought to trigger investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of the US.

Until its suspension, PDS was responsible for managing the retail and distribution business of the electricity company of Ghana since March this year.

Government suspended the concession agreement with the company, bringing back the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to be in full control of power distribution.

According to Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the decision was taken after government detected “fundamental and material breaches of PDS’s obligation in the provision of Payment Securities (Demand Guarantees) for the transaction which have been discovered upon further due diligence.”

As government conducts its investigations there have been interesting revelations about the how PDS came to win the contract. 

The Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) recently questioned the process that gave 51% majority shares of Power Distribution Service to Ghanaians.

Dr. Steve Manteaw said Santa Baron Ventures Ghana, TG Energy Solution Ghana, GTS Engineering Ghana Limited and TBK Ghana Limited were not evaluated before being picked to hold majority shares.


He said this on the back of material breeches levelled against PDS by the government, in relation to insurance guarantees tendered to secure some $18b assets belonging to ECG.

Against this and other emerging revelations, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs says that their action is justified as “a clearer picture is now emerging that the Akufo-Addo government stands complicit with top functionaries and cronies neck-deep in the putrescent sleaze.”

According to the Minority, the Akufo-Addo government “cannot be trusted to conduct thorough and independent investigations into this scandal of monumental proportions.”

They say like most Ghanaians, “they have grown sceptical about so-called investigations by the Akufo-Addo Administration since a countless number of these investigations only end up clearing appointees. The reports are never published and the real culprits are never identified and punished.”

The Minority is of the firm conviction that every possible option must remain on the table “in our collective sacred duty  to protect a strategic national interest, the Electricity Company of Ghana, from being balkanized by a marauding greedy cabal in questionable arrangements.”

According to them, their demand for an investigation is buoyed by the knowledge that the US authorities “would not adopt a nonchalant attitude and allow millions of US taxpayer dollars under the signed Compact II of the Millennium Challenge Account to be recklessly misapplied and squandered.”