The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bongo Constituency in the Upper East Region, Edward Bawa, has tasked the Akufo-Addo government to furnish Ghanaians with the shareholding structure of the companies it has shortlisted to take over the management of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) first time legislator, says details of the six shortlisted out of the 83 companies, will enable Ghanaians, especially civil society groups, appreciate to what extent, indigenous companies are involved in the deal.
The firms are: Manila Electric Company Ortigas Avenue; CH Group/ EDF Sa/LMI Holdings/ Veolia SA; and Engie Energy Service.
The rest are, BXC Company Ghana Limited/ Xiaocheng Technology Stock Company Limited/Shaanxi Regional Electric Power Group Company Limited; Enel S.P.A Viale Regina Margherita 137; and The TATA Power Company Limited/ CDC Group PLC.
The concessionaire, will be required to invest some US$500million in the company to upgrade it and return it to the state after 20 years.
Edward Bawa queried, “To what extent are indigenous Ghanaian companies allowed to participate in the process to ensure that part of the value of the industry remains in Ghana. And most importantly how do ensure that for the purposes of national security we maintain some level of Ghanaian participation in our power distribution. It is for this reason that I call on government to provide to the Ghanaian people the shareholding structure of the six companies shortlisted”.
The MP, expressed the concern in a conversation with The Herald, arguing that for the sake of national security, it will be appropriate to have Ghanaian participation in the power distribution.
The request is also to ensure that “fronting” which this government through the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) is claiming to be working on a law to fight against, does not surface in the deal.
The MP said, “It is for this reason that I call on government to provide to the Ghanaian people the shareholding structure of the six companies shortlisted. This will help us assess the ownership structure of the companies and possibly detect fronting which has been very inimical to local content and local participation”.
There are a number of provisions within the GIPC Act 2013, Act 865, that for instance restrict business entry or participation in some selected sectors to Ghanaians, but some foreigners with the assistance of Ghanaians, have ventured into such space.
Until his election as MP for Bongo, Mr. Bawa, served as the Communication Director at the Petroleum Ministry, he also used to be the Communication Director at the Ministry of Energy, thus abreast with the energy industry.
According to him, disclosing details of the owners, will help Ghanaians scrutinize them properly.
President Akufo-Addo at this year’s May Day celebrations, said the government had amended the terms of the concession agreement, which required that Ghanaians own at least 51 percent of the concession.
The government signed the second Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) named “Ghana Power Compact” as part of measure to improve the power sector through the introduction of independent power producers and private distributors in electricity supply, as we as the privatization of ECG.
The concessionaires, will be responsible for the management, operation and investment in electricity distribution by ECG.
The concessionaire will be required to invest some US$500million in the company to upgrade it and return it to the state after 20 years.
According to Millennium Development Account (MiDA) it is expected that, bids would be received from these companies by October 2017, and a Concession agreement would be signed with the selected Concessionaire by March 2018.
That way, the ECG PSP transaction, can reach financial close by early September 2018, so the Concessionaire, can commence in earnest the management, operation, and investments in ECG by October 2018.