The Minority in Parliament has accused the Akufo-Addo administration of fudging the original Power Compact II agreement to handover the management of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to surrogates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
“This project was expected to significantly improve access to electricity, ensure operational efficiency, turn around ECG, increase their profitability and have a sustainable, reliable and resilient delivery of power to the good people of Ghana,” said former deputy power minister John Jinapor.
He said the process, which commenced under the NDC in a very transparent and competitive manner culminated in the selection of six companies that were pre-qualified both through the RFQ stage and at the RFP stage.
“Unfortunately, however… upon assumption of office by the Akufo-Addo administration under the guise of the so-called local content participation, the government deliberately altered the original agreement in a manner and fashion to pave way for the contracts to be awarded to a cabal of companies that have no track record in the energy sector,” he stated during a press conference Thursday in Accra.
“This cabal …critical investigations revealed are not experienced in the power sector but rather a group of friends, cronies and NPP party apparatchiks contrary to the original goals, objectives and aspirations of the programme.”
The Minority’s accusations come on the back of the government’s suspension of the implementation of the power compact agreement by Power Distribution Services (PDS)
PDS took over ECG on March 1 after its major shareholder Meralco Consortium from the Philippines won the Millennium Challenge Power Compact Two from the U.S.A.
However a little over four months after the takeover, the government suspended the contract after 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.
According to the Jinapor, the government’s suspension of the implementation of the agreement is the “biggest scandal” ever witnessed in the country’s power sector.
“Another Boakye Agyarko-Ameri like deal has been visited on Ghanaians by this corrupt and insensitive government with the award of ECG to its cronies,” he said.
Dent on parliament
National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Bongo said the suspension of the concession agreement with PDS has hugely dented parliament’s ability to diligently scrutinise agreements.
According to him, the rush with which the agreement went through the law-making chamber was a clear indication the agreement was cooked from the very beginning for someone.
“Everything that was done was done in a hurry with the whole aim of cooking it for somebody.”
“So, I’m just trying to show that if you look at all these and you then today get up in the morning and you hear that the insurers or maybe the guarantors’ guarantee was procured fraudulently it is an embarrassment to the country. Two, I think that it is a serious embarrassment on Parliament,” he said in a Starr News interview Wednesday.
Calls for interdiction
A former UN adviser on governance Prof. Agyemang Duah charged President Akufo-Addo to name and punish officials in his government who are culpable in the failed PDS-ECG concession deal.
According to him, the suspension of the deal by the government a few months down the line is an indication of shoddy work done.
“If the government has had the courage to suspend the contract then it should have that same courage to mention those behind the contract and let them face the law. Those who are culpable should be subjected to investigations and the necessary action taken after investigations,” he told Morning Starr host Francis Abban Thursday.
Also, the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) called for the immediate interdiction of the leadership of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) – the implementing agency for Ghana’s Power Compact.
But another energy think tank, the Institute of Energy Security is of a contrary view on the role of MiDA in the botched PDS deal.
Research and policy analyst with the institute, Mikdad Mohammed told Starr News, but for the proactiveness of MiDA, Ghanaians would have been fully ripped off.