PDS Pockets Over GH¢2 Billion In Five Months



From Ghanaians; Sends Snubbish Letter To Energy Commission

It is emerging that, the suspended Power Distribution Service (PDS) made a whopping GH¢100 million every week from March 1, 2019, when it took over electricity supply and revenue collection job from the state-owned Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

This means that for the five months that the hurriedly constituted PDS operated, it made as much as GH¢2 billion from the state facility, although reports are that, the PDS Consortium with 51percent Ghanaian ownership, did not add anything to the institution by way of funds or technical expertise, except administrative changes at ECG, mainly influenced by political lineage.

The Herald is informed that, the monies have been lodged into PDS’s account with CAL Bank, but this paper cannot confirm whether or not, the money is still intact and available to be retrieve by the Akufo-Addo government for use by ECG, whose assets has been valued at GH¢22billion.

The revelation comes, amid confidential reports that PDS through its legal advisors; Minkah-Premo Law firm known as Akosombo Chambers, has written to the Energy Commission, ECG and others to snub attempts by the Vice-President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, to resolve the fraud allegations levelled against it by Al Koot, leading to the Ministry of Energy’s suspension order.

The content of the letter dated August 2, 2019 and signed by Chief Executive Officer (PDS) of PDS, Reverend William HuttonMensah, a former boss of ECG, The Herald has sighted, sounded very confrontational, describing the government’s position on the Al Koot document alleging fraud as having “suffered a serious blow”.

The confrontational attitude comes as PDS faces a September 2019 deadline to ensure the company, has met all the requirement per the concession agreement; condition precedence and condition subsequent towards a full and absolute control of ECG asserts.

From the tone of the PDS letter, the consortium appears ready to fight government through its lawyers at Minkah-Premo Law firm, including Sophia Kokor, who serves on the PDS board as a secretary, as well as a director of the GT Energy Solutions; one of the three Ghanaian companies in the arrangement. The Chairman of the PDS board is Philip Ayesu of the X-men barbershop.

But The Herald is informed by family sources that, the Akufo-Addo government sees the current impasse as a serious “crisis” and is ready to throw out PDS, if it fails to meet the requirements by September.

The August 2, 2019 letter, is said to have angered President Akufo-Addo and is livid over it. He is reported to be treating the issue as emergency.

Back to the monies collected by PDS, the CAL Bank account, has since been frozen on the orders of the government, but experts are asking that it must quickly be audited by the Auditor-General’s Department to determine its availability or otherwise.

Insiders say before the takeover of ECG some five months ago, the state-owned company, used to have a similar account where moneys realized from sale of power, were lodged.

ECG, according to these EGCsources, was able to use part of the money to take care of its own internal issues, while the rest were paid into government coffers.

The story, however, changed with the takeover, as moneys that were hitherto made available for ECG’s spending, was suddenly unavailable for the day to day running of the company.

Government is also unable to access some of these moneys too to resolve some of its emergency financial challenges as a result of the PDS takeover.

Meanwhile, PDS, in a press statement issued by its lawyers Minkah-Premo, says due to government’s inability to exercise restraint in the face of the alleged breaches, the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) has frozen its accounts.

“Had ECG and Energy Commission, and indeed government acted with a modicum of restraint and had they exercised patience to allow the original plan of dispatching a team to Qatar to investigate the alleged irregularities with the Demand Guarantees to prevail, they would have found no basis for acting in the manner in which they have acted which conduct has not only put the operations of PDS in grave danger but has also needlessly dented the image and reputation of PDS.”

“To further compound issues, the Financial Intelligence Centre has also swooped in on the strength of the conduct of ECG and Energy Commission, to freeze the accounts of PDS, an act that has all but crippled the operations of PDS and puts the supply of power to Ghanaians in the Southern Distribution Zone in grave jeopardy,” the statement said.

PDS, assured the public that it remains committed to its mandate under the various agreements that it has with ECG and government, and will co-operate with the appropriate authorities to ensure the its rights are vindicated.

The government last week Tuesday, announced that it has through the Ministry of Finance and the ECG, suspended the concession agreement with PDS with immediate effect.

The government explained that the decision followed the “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.”

There have been some suggestions that the government did not do due diligence on the shareholders and the demand guarantees they presented.

More to come as The Herald dissects PDS Gurus; X-Men, Santa Baron, Sikkens, Midwest CEO & how they won the concession.

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