- It is worthy of note that several government functionaries including the Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu and his Deputy Owuraku Aidoo had described the contract with PDS as fraudulent.
There has been mixed reaction over government’s decision to terminate its concession agreement with Power Distribution Services, PDS. Whiles a section of the public applauds the decision, others believe it is a cover-up.
Government’s move to abrogate the contract stems from the fact that PDS failed to satisfy conditions precedent under the relevant transaction within a specific timeline. Analysts believe the abrogation of the contract was long overdue as PDS breached a major requisition under the agreement.
They were supposed to provide a bank guarantee instead of the Insurance guarantee which was provided. It is essential to state here that on the 4th of August 2014 the government of Ghana signed the Millennium Challenge Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation acting on behalf of the United States to achieve lasting economic growth and reducing poverty through increased private sector investment.
In line with the compact there was a lease and Assignment Agreement between the Electricity Company of Ghana, ECG and Power Distribution Services, Ghana Limited as well as a Government Support Agreement entered into between the Government of Ghana and PDS.
It is worthy of note that several government functionaries including the Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu and his Deputy Owuraku Aidoo had described the contract with PDS as fraudulent.
This prompted government to earlier suspend the deal but nobody knows how the deal was later reactivated. As things stand, with the abrogation of the agreement government must hit the ground running by prosecuting all actors in the PDS deal no matter whose ox is gored.
This will return public confidence in the transaction. It is good government has reiterated its commitment to private participation in the compact agreement. This time around it must open its eyes wider to ensure that the right people with the financial wherewithal are chosen. With a little over a year to election 2020, government will be shooting itself in the foot if it again goes the tangent of PDS.
With the termination of the PDS contract, the government must conduct a technical assessment of ECG’s assets to determine whether it has been short-changed. A transaction advisor and receiver must be engaged to take over the assets of ECG until a new concessionaire is acquired. Government must muster courage and bring to book anybody found culpable in the stinking PDS deal.
Take it or leave it, the abrogation of the PDS contract has dealt a big blow to the country’s image and no efforts must be spared to repair whatever damage must have been done.
President Akufo Addo deserves to be commended for taking steps to terminate the PDS deal irrespective of the fact that it has inflicted colossal damage on his party’s image. It is better late than never.
The PDS transaction must be an eye-opener to our politicians and for that matter, future governments never to take the vigilance of the people for granted. Transparency and accountability are sine qua non in any socio-political and economic agenda. We pray the abrogation of the PDS contract will not in any way affect our electricity and energy delivery efforts.
A stitch in time it is said saves nine.
GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO TERMINATE THE PDS CONCESSION AGREEMENT
BY JUSTICE MINGLE, A JOURNALIST