NPP MP Caught In ECG Concession Scandal

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Says NDC’s Haruna Iddrisu Is Aware Of Conflict Of Interest

The Herald’s painstaking investigations into the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Concession agreement between Ghana and the consortium of investors, led by Manila Electric Company (Meralco), has established that Ghanaians, have been given a raw deal, with the key state asset going away under some fishy and untidy circumstances.

Among the charges is a huge conflict of interest situation involving Lawyer Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Sekondi in the Western Region, who sat in Parliament and acted as secretary and a director of TG Energy Solutions Ghana; one of the five investors, and approved the deal in which he had a financial interest.

Interestingly, the Millennium Development Authority (MIDA) led by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Martin Esson Benjamin, had on the basis of conflict of interest, rejected another investor, BXC Ghana, saying it had failed to disclose its working relationship with ECG ahead of the bid. The case eventually landed in court, but the court ruled in favour of MIDA.

It is clear from this paper’s investigations that, free money will be landing in the pockets of some individuals anytime electricity tariff is increased by the consortium with the approval of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).

Indeed, some of the companies, particularly TG Energy Solutions Ghana, looked hurriedly formed purposely to harvest these free monies through the concession arrangement.

The Herald, discovered the company had no technical expertise in the energy sector and also lacked financial muscle to manage ECG with its 6,000 workforce.

One David Nana Yaw Asare, who identified himself to The Herald as the owner of TG Energy Solutions Ghana, said he hope to use assets of ECG to raise the needed funds to pay his part of the deal.

To him, ECG makes millions of cedis every day, and financial institutions, will be more than willing to give out money to anyone involved in the concession.

It is not clear, if MIDA, did due diligence on the TG Energy Solutions Ghana and its ties to the MP. It is also not clear, if Martin Esson Benjamin’s outfit, did technical and financial assessment of all the companies, especially TG Energy Solutions Ghana before handing over the strategic national asset to them.

The Herald’s additional findings are that, TG Energy Solutions Ghana, a strictly Ghanaian-owned company, has 28percent shares in the Consortium of investors making it the second largest shareholder in the transaction which will see EGC being managed for 20 years.  Meralco, has 30percent shares in the transaction.

Lawyer Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer, in an interview with The Herald admitted being a director of TG Energy Solutions Ghana, but said he cannot be accused of conflict of interest, because he had explained his role in the company to the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who had questioned him on his involvement in the company in Parliament.

He claimed he was only engaged as lawyer to register the TG Energy Solutions Ghana, but he decided on his own volition to act as Director and secretary to the company until the owner, David Asare, settled down for business and appoints substantive officers after he (Mercer) had resigned from his two positions in TG Energy Solutions Ghana.

He described the situation as “not the best thing to do. But some of these things you just go ahead and then…”  The NPP MP also discounted the significance of his vote in parliament on the deal and several times dismissed accusations of conflict of interest.

Strangely, however, Lawyer Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer’s role in TG Energy Solutions Ghana, goes beyond playing the roles of a director and a secretary. His office address on the 7th Floor of Heritage Tower in Accra, has been identified as the “Principal Place of business” for the company.

He also denied participating in the voting process which approved the deal saying “I was not even in the chamber when the process was pushed through”. I didn’t participate… In any event, it was a voice vote. It was not a recorded vote”. To him, if there were divisions, and Parliament had gone into various sides, then he could be accused of conflict of interests but his did not happened and the vote was been voice.

Lawyer Mercer, also claimed he not was aware that TG Energy Solutions Ghana was participating in the EGC concession process until the agreement came before Parliament and the Minority Leader, saw his name and drew his attention.

It is not clear, who saw the Second MP on July 24, 2018, walking out from Parliament ahead of the voting exercise and can vouch for this.

But in yet another twist to the story, the same Lawyer Mercer, who did not participate in the deal, says he is yet to resign from TG Energy Solutions Ghana as Secretary and Director of the company.

But, although he insisted that he was not in parliament, The Herald obtained Minutes of Forty-Second Sitting of the second meeting of Parliament; the day on which the ECG concession agreement was approved, and Lawyer Mercer was captured as having taken part in the “Votes and Proceedings” on the day. He was number 161 in the records from Parliament.

This means Lawyer Andrew Kofi Egyapa Mercer lied, when he said he did not participate in parliamentary proceedings, because he was not in the House or on the Floor of Parliament.

The five companies involved in the consortium are Manila Electric (Meralco) of The Philippines, 30 per cent; Aenergia SA (Angola), 19 per cent; Santa Baron Ventures Ghana, 13 per cent; TG Energy Solution Ghana, 18 per cent; GTS Engineering Ghana Limited, 10 per cent, and TBK Ghana Limited, 10 per cent.

The Herald, uncovered a possible scam to be perpetuated on unsuspecting Ghanaians through the controversial second ECG Concession, by prominent individuals in society and the political environment.

 

Some of these individuals are shockingly MPs, others government officials and the rest are private businessmen, who are about to toil with the destinies of the over 6, 000 workers of ECG, who by late February next year, will be offloaded to the new company.

Details available to this paper, shows the Americans will be throwing moneys in the pockets of the aforementioned groups of people, under the guise to manage Ghana’s power company; the ECG through Pilipino company; Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and the Ghanaian companies some with neither financial muscle nor technical expertise.

The monumental scam, if allowed to sail through will portray the Americans as being a party to a grand scheme, because they failed to due diligence on the various companies, therefore aided and abetted a monumental fleece on innocent Ghanaians, including the 6, 000 ECG workers.

Under the agreement, the concessionaire will have the right to operate and expand the power distribution network. However, The Herald, is reliably informed that moneys were paid to some prominent individuals who overlooked the deficiencies and the dirty scheme to make money while others also cut their own chunk of deals to get them free money as long as the concession will last.

They make their free money when anytime electricity tariff is increased, and some of the companies were hurriedly formed to purposely harvest the free monies through the concession arrangement.

They neither have the financial muscle to bring the expected changes and improvement to the power sector for the benefit of Ghanaians and also meet the expectations of the Americans who through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC); an independent US Government foreign aid agency, which has tied good governance, transparency and accountability to these aid money.

MiDA in April this year awarded the operation, investment and management of the Electricity Distribution Business of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to the Meralco Consortium.

More to come!

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