The Embassy of the United States of America (USA) in Ghana has urged the government to conduct a thorough forensic audit into claims of fraud regarding its contract with Power Distribution Services (PDS).
The move, the US believes, will help establish the full facts surrounding the contract.
The call was contained in an email from the Press Attache of the US Embassy in Accra, Ms Naomi Mattos, yesterday in response to enquiries the Daily Graphic made regarding the suspension of the PDS contract by the government and its impact on the Compact II.
“The U.S. Government strongly encourages the Government of Ghana to conduct a thorough forensic audit into claims of fraud in order to fully establish the facts of the matter.
“Only then can all relevant parties make a transparent and evidence-based decision in the best interests of the citizens of Ghana,” she said.
Ms Mattos added that the United States’ interest was in a transparent, well-run transaction that met international standards for private sector participation, investment and operations.
“The U.S. Government expects that the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), PDS and the Government of Ghana will continue to work together to implement the bold solutions and partnership of the MCC compact that have been fostered to enhance the reliability of the country’s power network and improve the lives of millions of Ghanaians,” Ms Mattos stated in her email.
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Ms Mattos recalled the background to the contract which has been the subject of controversy since the beginning of the week, saying; “The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Ghana Power Compact was signed in 2014 and is a $498 million investment in the transformation of the country’s energy sector through private sector participation and key policy and institutional reforms that will provide more reliable and affordable power to the Ghanaian people.
The MCC Ghana Power Compact is expected to benefit an estimated 9.7 million Ghanaians over the next 20 years”.
She explained further that the Electricity Company of Ghana Ltd (ECG) concession was about improving performance at Ghana’s leading power distribution utility without changing the fact that ECG was a strategic asset to the Ghanaian people.
“Ghanaians will continue to own ECG and its assets and Ghanaian shareholders will hold a controlling interest in the concession programme throughout its lifespan,” Ms Mattos stated.
On July 30, 2019, the government, through the Ministry of Information, suspended the 20-year concession of the ECG.
Ms Mattos said: “We believe, and our partners in the Government of Ghana agree, that private sector participation is essential to restoring the financial health of Ghana’s energy sector. The Government of Ghana cited “material breaches” of its agreement with the Power Distribution Services (PDS) Ghana Limited company as the reason for the suspension.