The Minister of Information, Oppong Nkrumah has said the suspension of the Power Distribution Services (PDS) concession agreement will not negatively affect employees.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah made this known when he was asked whether the workers of PDS are safe.
The Minister responded in the affirmative, adding that neither jobs nor salaries will be hampered as a result of the suspension of the PDS concession.
“[We have had discussions about]The status of the workers during this period of the inquiry. My understanding is that a conclusion will be brought to the matter during this week that we have entered but the important thing is that salaries and jobs will not be hampered.”
The Minister’s assertion follows concerns by the Public Utilities Workers Union about their fate following the suspension of the concession agreement.
The company is currently under a 30-day probe by government into the alleged submission of false documents in its takeover of the Electricity Company of Ghana.
Subsequently, the accounts of PDS have been frozen while investigations continue.
General Secretary of the Public Utilities Workers Union, Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi had told Citi News the ongoing fracas has left workers confused.
“There is a lot of anxiety, apprehension, confusion. Workers keep asking; where do we belong? Are we staff of PDS, are we staff of ECG? We just moved from ECG to PDS, now government says PDS contract has been suspended and ECG will take over.”
“With those arrangements so far, there has not been any clear cut pronouncement and it is creating anxiety among workers. Now with all these accounts frozen by the IFC, we are yet to find out which modalities they are going to put in place to make sure staff get their salaries and also on time.”
But Mr. Oppong Nkrumah on Eyewitness News allayed these fears.
The government of Ghana on Tuesday decided to suspend a concessionary agreement with PDS for distribution of power in Ghana, with immediate effect following what it said was the discovery “of fundamental and material breaches of PDS’ obligation in the provision of Payment Securities (Demand Guarantees).”
Details of the alleged breach revealed that the Management/Directors of PDS, Meralco Consortium forged a document to finally get the deal.
The Ministry of Information has said that the concession agreement with PDS is currently suspended as a temporary measure pending the result of a full-scale investigation being conducted by members from the various concerned agencies.
In an interview on Eyewitness News, the sector minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said that a final decision on what must happen to PDS will be taken after the probe is completed, but cautioned against drawing immediate conclusions on the matter.
“It is not healthy to quickly rush into concluding the matter now especially as there is a full-scale enquiry going on…Everybody has questions to answer, MiDA, the IFC, Millennium Challenge Compact, Government of Ghana, everybody has questions to answer,” Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said on Eyewitness News last week.
ECG takes over from PDS
The Energy Commission last week announced the appointment of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) as the interim operator to take charge of the management and operation of electricity sales in the country.
The Commission in a statement said the decision is based on the impairment of validity of PDS’s licences due to its Demand Guarantees being declared null and void among other new developments concerning PDS’ take over of electricity sales in Ghana.