14:21, 13.Oct 2018
Three political parties have expressed diverse views on the suspension of the Power Distribution Service (PDS) deal.
Whereas the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG) commended the government for initiating investigations into the PDS concession deal, the People’s National Convention (PNC) called for a cancellation of the contract immediately.
The parties, in separate interviews with the Daily Graphic, agreed that the deal had to be put on hold following the discovery of what the government described as “fundamental and material breaches of PDS obligation in the provision of payment securities for the transaction”.
The government, on July 30 this year, suspended the concession agreement with PDS for what it described as “fundamental and material breaches of PDS obligation in the provision of payment securities for the transaction” which has been discovered upon further due diligence.
A statement from the government said a full-scale enquiry into the power concession agreement with PDS Ghana Limited had begun and was expected to last for 30 days.
It added that the government had taken steps to ensure that distribution, billing and payment services were not interrupted, and assured the public that the development would in no way interfere with the distribution of electricity services to customers.
In its response, PDS said it acted in good faith in its dealings with the government of Ghana.
While investigation is ongoing, the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has been asked to take over the country’s power distribution.
The Chairman of the PNC, Mr Bernard Mornah, said the government should not entertain any further discussion regarding the PDS deal but rather allow the management of the company to revert to ECG.
He said Ghanaians had what it “takes to manage its own power unless the government does not have any confidence in the people it is ruling”.
Mr Mornah said the PDS deal, before it was signed, witnessed resistance from institutions, including the union of ECG, on the ground that the challenges that affected power distribution had nothing to do with competence but monies owed them by the government.
“So from the word go, it was wrong for the government to have handed it over to PDS but now we are being told the deal is bedeviled with some fraud. We do not need any further investigation, just return it to ECG permanently,” he said.
GCPP on confidence
The Chairman of the GCPP, Dr Henry Lartey, urged the government to take its time to properly investigate the PDS deal to avoid raising suspicions of a possible corruption among its officials.
He said Ghanaians were watching with keen interest and that the citizens would want to know the outcome of the investigations in order to maintain confidence in the government.
Dr Lartey said the suspension of the PDS deal was a right thing the government did to ensure that nothing illegal was done in the signing of the power concession.
For his part, the acting Chairman of the LPG, Mr John Amekah, stressed the need for the government to investigate and dig out the wrongs that had shrouded the PDS deal.
“If there is any fraud-related offence, it must be brought out so that Ghanaians will be at peace,” he added.
In the government’s attempt to uncover what had gone wrong with the PDS deal, Mr Amekah said there was the need to ensure caution so that the benefits the power concession deal came with would be sustained.