PDS Dead & Buried

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But Secret Recordings On ECG Hijackers Out Soon…

Multiple media reports suggest that, the government has finally terminated the Power Distribution Services (PDS) concession agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), but insiders’ reports are that, the debacle is just about to start and the coming days promise to be interesting.

The Akufo-Addo family and friends, are still interested in ECG, because the money is too good to let go. In this regard, the family and friends of the President, according to this paper’s insiders, will soon outdoor a new company, having succeeded in kicking out Philip Ayesu and collapsed the PDS consortium.

There are tape recordings of the President’s family member, plotting to now take over the consortium and set up local companies, which will team up with AEnergy of Anloga, otherwise known as Aenergia SA and the Manila Electric Company, also known as Meralco, to take over the running of ECG.

The new arrangement, will also see Enterprise Insurance Company (EIC) owned by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and his friend, Keli Gadzekpo, become the insurance company of choice for the transaction, kicking out Donewell Insurance, whose policy had been described as fraudulent.

The fight over insurance guarantee was what trigged the confusion leading to the termination.

One such meeting is said to have taken place between Gabby Asare-Otchere-Darko and the owner of Santa Baron Ventures, Kwabena Aidoo. The Herald,  has details of that meeting and will be publishing it in the coming days. It took place ahead of the termination.

Other reports available to The Herald is that, one Kweku Bediako, who was the brain behind the interest of the French electric utility company; EDF, is being talked to, to bring back the company, while the Akufo-Addo family, sets up its private company, to participate in the takeover of the EGC.

EDF, largely owned by the French state has over €71.2 billion in revenues. Kweku Bediako, another friend of Gabby, is in serious discussion with the family to bring EDF.

The company, had gotten angry after the Akufo-Addo government, decided to rather do a 49percent foreign ownership of ECG and 51percent local private sector participation in the management of the power distributor.

Ken Ofori-Atta, has in a letter written to Sean Cairncross; Chief Executive of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Washington, United States of America,  said the “Government of Ghana acknowledges the challenges that privatization of ECG has faced. However, this does not in any way diminish the Government of Ghana’s commitment to working with MCC on private sector participation through in a manner that follows due process and protects the interest of all parties”.

The letter dated October 18, 2019, is copied the Chief of Staff to the President, the America Embassy, Secretary to the President, the Energy Minister, Energy Commission, ECG board chairman. Millennium Development Authority, among others.

The termination, according to some media reports is on the insistence of the Ghana government, against the position of the US government, which was insisting that the PDS concession, should remain in order to save the $498 million compact with the Millennium Challenge Account.

The concession agreement was suspended on July 30, 2019 by the government, due to what it called “fundamental and material breaches”.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) was unhappy with the suspension, insisting the government of Ghana acted too hastily.

However, Citi News is reliably informed that the President insisted that his priority was to protect the critical national asset, the national electricity distribution entity.

According to government, PDS failed to provide demand guarantees for such an agreement, and what was provided turned out to be fake.

A full-scale investigation was therefore launched into the deal with ECG returning to operations.

A delegation was dispatched to Qatar and the United States of America, as part of investigations into the deal.

The information reaching Citi News, further suggests that US authorities are displeased with the decision by the government to cancel the contract.

According to the source, government had a deadline to agree to a compromise by the Americans that PDS must stay, and that they will agree to government’s original suggestion before the concession was awarded, which is to bring in institutional investors.

After a back and forth, government opted for a termination, despite the risk of losing the remaining $190m of the Compact, and an additional $500 million from the pending regional compact.

Among other things, the US, has threatened to stop Ghana from enjoying the rest of the Millennium Challenge Compact, which was the basis for the PDS-ECG Concession agreement.

The threat is not only for America to blacklist Ghana, but that the country will lose nearly $700 million from America, and $1 billion from the World Bank which is controlled by the US, the source said.Government is in the process of concluding a $1 billion facility from the World Bank, which Citi News sources at Washington say it is now in jeopardy.

Another source in Government, thinks the President was right to do what he thought was right for Ghana, even at the risk of losing some $1.7 billion in all.

All these facilities are for the energy sector and linked to energy reforms, including Ghana putting ECG on concession to a private operator.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) earlier this week, accused the government of ceding the shares to the new owners without approval from Parliament and the knowledge of Ghanaians.

Addressing the press, the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Aseidu Nketiah, said the party unearthed this new deal between the government and the company from Hong Kong after sighting a letter written by Meridian Power Ventures to the Chairperson of the Millennium Development Authority( MiDA), Professor Yaa Ntiamoah Baidoo for a special board meeting.

The meeting should have been requested by the PDS acting through its Board Chairman,  PhilipAyesu, owner of X-MEN Barbershop in East Legon – Accra.

But the Minister for Energy, John Peter Amewu, dismissed the claims that the government has handed over thirty percent shares in the power distribution industry to a new company.

He said the company in question is not new.

“I don’t know what the Minority stated. It is quite surprising because I expected them to be on top of issues. This is a parliamentary memo that came to Parliament. The Deputy Minister then was part and they all discussed it. The company in question they are talking about is the SPV of Meralco. It is not a new company which holds the thirty percent shares here so I was at a loss when they came out with the explanation that the government is trying to restructure the shareholding agreement,” he said in an Eyewitness News interview.

He further indicated that it would be impossible for the government to do a shareholding restructuring, since it has no direct agreement with the shareholders involved in the agreement.

 

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