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PDS CONCESSION SUSPENSION: FULL INQUIRY TO BE COMPLETE IN 30 DAYS

General News

The government has announced that the ongoing full-scale inquiry into breaches detected in the Power Distribution Services (PDS) concession agreement is expected to be completed within 30 days.

The government has announced that the ongoing full-scale inquiry into breaches detected in the Power Distribution Services (PDS) concession agreement is expected to be completed within 30 days.

 

The inquiry is expected to determine the nature of the breaches and advise on next steps.

To this end, a team conducting the inquiry will make trips to Doha in Qatar and the United States to help investigate the matters in dispute.

Among the members of the team are insurance investigation experts, officials from the Ministries of Energy and Finance as well as executives from Electricity Company of Ghana and the Millennium Development Authority.

Pursue inquiry

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday to update Ghanaians on developments in the reorganisation of national power distribution, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said that by Tuesday August 6 the team will be in Doha to pursue the inquiry.

“All interested parties are co-operating with the inquiry at this stage,” the Minister said.

He added: “A second team has been tasked to continue engagement with the American government through its agency, the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
“This engagement is about the possible next steps after the inquiry and channels for sharing information as part of this inquiry. That team is expected to also be in the USA, possibly next week, as part of their engagement.”

Action “untoward”

The government maintained that it uncovered the breach through due diligence done on four levels by Ghanaian officials through ECG and with the support of state agencies.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the provision of the payment guarantee has always been a condition precedent and was never changed to a condition subsequent as being speculated by some persons.”

According to him, the initial due diligence led by the transaction advisors did not detect anything wrong with the agreement.

“The second-level checks (this time led by the Ghana side) initially yielded a response from Al Koot [the commercial insurer of the project] confirming the guarantee. It was a third-level check by the Ghana side that detected anomalies within Al Koot, thereby triggering a fourth-level check,” he saod.

The Information Minister further told journalists: “The fourth-level check involved sending an initial team from the Ghana mission in Qatar to engage with Al Koot officials for further verification.

“This fourth level further proved the anomalies and suggested untoward action, which is now the subject of the full-scale inquiry.”

Smooth transition

The Information Minister also assured Ghanaians that the final efforts to ensure a smooth transition between ECG and PDS officials are proceeding without incident.

“The government will update all stakeholders on the outcome of the inquiry and proceed in accordance with the law and the terms of the agreement, as it works towards a final resolution of this matter,” he said.