Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee, PIAC Dr. Steve Manteaw said recent developments within the government over the termination of the PDS deal shows government cooked up claims of fraud.
According to him, the allegations of fraud were instituted to form the basis to terminate the concession deal to allow some individuals in government benefit from the concession.
Speaking to Citi FM after government served notice to terminate the PDS concession deal, Dr Steve said, “If I juxtaposed the recent development with the letter written by the Minister of Finance to a private legal practitioner from Akufo-Addo Chambers, Mr Akoto Ampaw to restructure the shareholding of the Ghanaian partners then it raises eyebrow because if indeed these Ghanaian partners were acting on their own accord to buy into this concession then a government Minister has no basis to write to a private legal practitioner from the President’s former chamber to restructure the shareholding of Ghanaian partners in this concession, you could tell, and from further developments and documents I saw suggested that Professor Ayensu was resisting this attempt, he was not happy and resisted and so i suspect that this actually gave rise to government’s decision to terminate concession but they needed to have a basis to terminate the concession and they have all these information because they have allowed these things to happen the so-called fraud or irregularities to happen so that at least some individuals in government could benefit from the…….. I’m pretty sure things did not work out and so all these allegations of irregularities may have been cooked up to form the basis to terminate..”
He added that if the team sent by the government to investigate the deal was independent, they would have found the complicity of government in the case.
Dr. Steve Manteaw cautioned the government saying the decision if care is not taken will affect Ghana’s developmental dealings with the US.
“I will be surprised if there is no request for any refund in terms of ……………….in this transaction, but is …..on very delicate ground and we need to be very careful because if we offend the Americans it may go beyond just the supposed compact we may lose out on development aid.”
The PDS deal was finally terminated by the Akufo-Addo government in a statement dated Friday, October 18 which communicated the termination of the 25-year power concession agreement with PDS over irregularities found with the company’s demand guarantee.
The move comes months after the Ghana Government announced a suspension of the contract but still watched on as PDS did business with ECG under an arrangement shrouded with confusion.
The Finance Minister in a statement released over the weekend revealed that the government had to terminate the concession agreement between the Electricity Company of Ghana and the Power Distribution Services due to what it called “fundamental and material breaches”.
PDS was in July found to have presented invalid insurance security for the takeover of ECG assets. Following months of investigations, the government terminated the deal adding that a restrictive tender process will be used in selecting a new concessionaire by December 31, 2019.