The Minister for Energy John Peter Amewu has strongly pushed back at criticisms that the Akufo-Addo government woefully failed in being thorough with Power Distribution Services’ takeover of ECG.
PDS took over ECG on March 1 after its major shareholder Meralco Consortium from the Philippines won the Millennium Challenge Power Compact Two from the U.S.A.
Under the Power Compact, six projects are being implemented to address the root causes of the unavailability and unreliability of power in Ghana.The project includes ECG Financial and Operational Turnaround Project, NEDCo Financial and Operational Turnaround Project, Regulatory Strengthening and Capacity Building Project, and Access Project.
The rest are Power Generation Sector Improvement Project and Energy Efficiency, and Demand Side Management Project.
The government and parliament have been under fire for failing to thoroughly scrutinise the agreement handing over ECG to PDS under the Power Compact II.
However, speaking at a press conference organised by the Information Ministry on Thursday, 01 August 2019 Amewu pushed back at the criticisms, stating: “I want you to understand that the principle of due diligence has always been an ongoing process. It is not an event.”Meanwhile, the government formally commenced a full-scale inquiry into the detected breaches on the PDS contract and has disclosed the investigations will be completed within 30 days.
Addressing Journalists in Accra, Minister for Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the team conducting the inquiry comprises insurance investigation experts, officials of the Energy and Finance ministries and officials of the ECG and MIDA as well.
Mr Nkrumah said the inquiry would determine the nature of the breaches and advise on suggested next steps.
“By Tuesday, the team is expected in DOHA-Qatar as part of the inquiry. All interested parties are cooperating with the inquiry at this stage” he told reporters.
The government in a statement on Tuesday 30th July 2019 suspended the concession agreement between Government of Ghana and PDS after detection of fundamental and material breaches of PDS’ obligation in the provision of Payment Securities (Demand Guarantees) for the transaction which has been discovered upon further due diligence.
Mr Nkrumah revealed that a second team has been tasked to continue engagement with the American government through its agency the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
“This engagement is about the possible next steps after the inquiry and channels for sharing information as part of this inquiry. That team is expected to also be in the USA possibly next week as part of their engagement” he added.