Ghanaian News

Minority petitions US ambassador over PDS debacle

The Minority in Parliament has petitioned the US Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S. Sullivan, demanding formal investigations by the American government into the Power Distribution Service (PDS) debacle.

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.”

He said government wants to secure ECG’s assets that were handed to PDS as part of the concession agreement.

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.

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