For ECG Workers Gov’t Despite Suspension
Power Distribution Services (PDS) limited, has confirmed it has introduced new cloth to replace the old Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) cloth, notwithstanding the government supposed suspension of the company last month.
It, however, denies that the cloths, which come in two designs, were designed and imported from China.
The PDS consortium, said the cloth was designed and printed by Premium African Textiles Company Limited, previously known as GTP.
According to a disclaimer issued by the under fire company on it letterhead “Power Distribution Services Ghana Limited (PDS) has noted with concern, a publication by The Herald newspaper today, 16th of September, 2019, captioned; “PDS Imports Huge Volumes of China-made Cloths for ECG Workers……Despite Government Suspension”, amidst claims of staff being charged a fee for the cloth.
The consortium on Monday, said “PDS wishes to state categorically that the news is false, that the cloths in question were designed and printed in Ghana by Premium African Textiles Company limited previously (formerly PDS), and not as purported by the newspaper. Interested parties may contact GTP for verification”.
It also denied that, the cloth was being sold to the staff. Instead, it said the GHc50.00 and GHc100.00 for male and female workers respectively,was rather the amount PDS, was going to reimburse to workers as sewing fees and not that, it was charging fees for the cloths as reported in the story.
“Again, per the memo posted by The Herald, PDS is rather supporting staff with a token as sewing cost of the corporate cloths, in accordance with the existing norm, but NOT charging staff for the cloth”
Both denial and confirmation come on the back of Herald’s Monday September 16, 2019 publication captioned“PDS Imports Huge Volumes of China-Made cloths for ECG Workers”.
The Herald had reported that, PDS was busy at work, using proceeds collected from power users to design and purchase African wax prints for the 6,400 workers of ECG, who were offloaded to the consortium as part of the concession agreement, although the Akufo-Addo government had claimed they have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
The memo,was forwarded to the General Managers in the regions, those in-charge of materials, those in-charge of Goods Procurement, Human Resources, Projects Office, Supervisor, Legon Workshop.
The circular was posted on the Notice Boards of every ECG office across the country, while copies were served the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PDS, the Deputy CEO, and all directors.
The circular signed by one Lawrence Osei-Kuffour, left the workers confused as to the true intension of government. They kept questioning why President Akufo-Addo, was unable to cancel the controversial agreement, despite the detection of massive insurance fraud.
But The Herald’s sources within government, tell this paper that President Akufo-Addo was unable to cancel the controversial contract in spite of the massive insurance fraud, primarily because of the “manipulative hands of the American government”.
The Americans don’t want the transaction cancelled, because it may likely end up with BXC Ghana Limited (BXC), a Chinese company registered Ghana as a subsidiary of Xiaocheng Electronic Technology Stock Co. Ltd BXC.
And it appears the Americans, have the upper hand because their US$498 million has been pumped into ECG as part of the bilateral foreign aid arrangement with the US through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which is to enable private sector participation in electricity distribution in Ghana; a tool for poverty reduction in third world countries.
Interestingly, the Chinese company, BXC Ghana Limited (BXC), has been listed together with the Pilipino company; Meralco and the French company; EDF Energy, as having the capacity and resources, to manage the distribution aspect of electricity in Ghana.
Government, according to insiders, would want to give the ECG to the EDF; French company, which was in the picture earlier,but chickened out when the partnership was reduced from 80percent to 51percent for foreigner ownership.
This paper’s sources, say that company is scheming to come back for the same reason, however, the insiders, the people behind this French company, including one Kweku Bediako, are not different from those behind PDS.
Mr Kwame OfosuBamfo, owner of car paints sellers; Bamson Company Limited best known as SIKKENS GHANA, has been part of EDF The Herald learnt.
Same man owns Alisa Hotel and suites in Accra. His cousin; Michael Twum Barimah, who is the Chief Executive officer of MidWest Company Limited are also part of the EDF company. The two, are known friends of President Akufo-Addo, the three frequent the Kwahu area to have fun.
This will mean a backdoor return of the same PDS concessionaires, if EDF is brought in to salvage the situation, because already Mr Bamfo and Mr Barima, are in the deal with company TBK World Plus Limited with a 10percent of the 51percent shares offered to the PDS consortium.
So in the event that it is allowed into the space; it will mean that the same group of people will be controlling the sector from behind.
Other reports are that government has a last option, to have Tony Oteng–Gyasi, the Chairman of Tropical Cable and Conductor Ltd, a manufacturer of electrical cables and husband of the Tourism Minister, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament of Prestea Huni-Valley constituency of the Western Region.
These permutations come in the wake of the leakage of government’s report signed by the Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery and Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney General Godfred Dame, who travelled to Qatar over the same PDS issue to investigate the insurance fraud allegation raised by Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu and his deputy; Owireku Aidoo.
Their report said when the delegation arrived in Qatar; it met with officials of Al-koot and confirmed the fraud, including claims that Al-Koot is taking steps to have the Qatari Police takeover the case, since Yahaya Al-Nouri, didn’t have the capacity to sign the document he appended his signature to.
It was also confirmed that, Al-Koot, has suspended Al-Nouri, and placed him under investigation. He did not have the board’s approval to do the things he was alleged to have done. Al-Nouri was reported to have used a junior officer to sign some of the documents.
Again, the Ambrosse Dery-led delegation, also confirmed that, payment was not made for the insurance in question.
It will be recalled that, government had in a press release suspended PDS on July 30, 2019, and by August 9, government had every information it wanted, to terminate the contract but through the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) government went ahead to commission a firm, FTI Consult, to investigate the PDS fraud at an unknown cost.
The firm was contracted to conduct a forensic audit on the same issue which had sent a whole delegation to Qatar. FTI Consult’s 29-page report was submitted to government on September 3, 2019.
Though cost is yet to be disclosed to Ghanaians, the report was immediately rejected by government. FTI Consult report was jointly signed by Pat Pericak and David Okhumale and submitted on September 3, 2019.
The report findingsare that there no valid and enforceable demand guarantee by Al-coot in support of the Lease and Assigned Agreement (LAA), Bulk Supply Assessment (BSA), Government Support Agreement (GSA).
But while government fumbles with whether or not to terminate the controversial contract, PDS is continuing it rebranding business with the latest being the introduction of Corporate Cloth for all staff, according to the Memo.
There is also additional corporate T-shirts, to be distributed to staff to be worn on Fridays, other than the last Friday of the month.
The memo signed by one Lawrence Osei-Kuffuor, said the cloths are ready for distribution to all regions for use, and asked PDS staff in the various regions to contact the Accra West Regional Office for purchase.
“The PDS corporate cloth is ready for distribution to all Regions. You are kindly requested to arrange to pick up the quantities for your Regions from the Accra West Regional Office”, the memo said. The cloth comes in two designs that is, dark and light.
Female staff are directed to purchase six (6) yards of both designs while their male colleagues are entitled to three (3) per each design. It will cost female staff GHc100. 00 per each and GHc50.00 per each for male staff. Staffs were told to submit sewing cost to Head Office for reimbursement in accordance with the above rates.
The dark design according to the memo is to be worn on the last Friday of every month beginning in October 2019 while the light design will be for ceremonial occasions only (corporate and national events).
“You are being informed that the style should conform to the following: Females- A decent kaba and slit, no dresses. Please note that accessories or additions to the cloth are not allowed. Male-long sleeves shirt with collar and left breast pocket”.