Suspension of PDS deal will not disturb flow of electricity-Prez

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has
assured that the suspension of the agreement with Power Distribution Services
(PDS)  “will not disturb the flow of electricity in the
country.

He stressed things will continue on a stable basis despite the suspension, saying, the process of ECG taking back control of the assets is on going, they will not disturb the flow and distribution of electricity in the country.

According to him, the suspended the PDS
agreement was in the interest of the public, and to protect the assets of the
Electricity Company of Ghana worth over $3 billion.

Addressing members of the Ghanaian community
in Angola on Thursday, 8th August, 2019, the President explained that his
Government inherited an arrangement in
which the United States
Government, through the Millennium Challenge
Corporation (MCC), offered the country half a billion dollars of money for the reform
of the energy sector.

He said the decision to make the suspension of
the PDS agreement public was “for the country to know exactly what is going on, and, therefore, hold
the government to account for its stewardship.”

“It was decided to incorporate it largely into the
reform of the Electricity Corporation of Ghana. One of the conditions of the
money was that we should get a private electricity coordinator to partner with
the nation to manage our electricity generation and distribution system,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo continued, “After a process of bidding and tendering
which left us with one company in the field, an arrangement was made for that
company to take over the running of the assets of ECG. Subsequently we
discovered that some of the financial instruments the company put in place were
not in order, and, as
a result of that, we have had to suspend the concession until all the facts are
established.”

The President explained that a fundamental part of the agreement
required that PDS put up a guarantee to cover some $400 million.

“It turned out that there are problems with this
guarantee. Therefore, the protection that we should have in the transaction was
not really there. The matter came to our notice, and
we decided that the first thing to do was to protect the public assets by
suspending the agreement with this private sector operator and returning the
assets to the control of the ECG whilst a process of investigation was being
carried out,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that
he sent a delegation to
Qatar on Tuesday, 6th
August, 2019, the
origin of the guarantee, to find out exactly what the situation was.

“They (Ghanaian
delegation) met
them (Al Koot Insurance
and Reinsurance).
They are on their way back. By the time I get back to Accra tomorrow (Friday), we will know exactly where we are,” he said.

The decision to suspend the agreement, the President said, was necessary for “to protect the public interest, and to protect the ECG assets in excess of 3 billion cedis. These are not assets that you can take lightly. They were taken to protect the public interest and to make sure that the delinquency, if that is what it turns out to be, was nipped in the bud as soon as possible,” the President added.

By: Rashid Obodai Provencal

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