Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
Government has announced that it will complete its full scale inquiry into detected breaches of the power concession agreement with the Power Distribution Services (PDS) Ghana Limited within 30-days.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah made the announcement on Thursday, August 1, 2019, in Accra, two days after the deal was suspended.
Government had on Tuesday, July 30, 2019, announced the suspension of the power concession agreement in a statement signed by Mr. Oppong Nkrumah.
The statement had indicated that the suspension followed the detection of fundamental and material breaches of PDS’ obligation in the provision of the Payment Securities (Demand Guarantees) for the transaction which have been discovered upon further due diligence.
“The Demand Guarantees were key prerequisites for the lease of assets on 1st March, 2019 to secure the assets that were transferred to the concessionaire,” the statement said.
The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) has raised some concerns over the outcome of the deal, urging an independent inquiry into the matter.
The Minority has indicated that government has been unfair to Ghanaians by not adhering to earlier concerns raised about the agreement.
But updating the media on the matter, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah stated “the full scale inquiry into the detected breaches has commenced and is expected to be completed within 30 days.”
He noted that the team conducting the inquiry comprises insurance investigation experts, officials of the Energy and Finance ministries and officials of the ECG and MIDA as well.
According to him, the inquiry will determine the nature of the breaches and advise on suggested next steps.
By Tuesday (August 6, 2019), the team is expected in DOHA-Qatar as part of the inquiry. All interested parties are cooperating with the inquiry at this stage, he said.
He added that 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,” he noted.
“That team is expected to also be in the USA possibly next week as part of their engagement,” according to the Minister.
“Final efforts to ensure a smooth transition between ECG and PDS officials are proceeding without incident,” he added.
“We reiterate that this breach was discovered by the due diligence of the Ghanaian authorities through ECG and with the support of state agencies,” he 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.
According to him, initial due diligence led by the transaction advisors did not detect anything wrong with it.
He added that the second level checks (this time led by the Ghana side) initially yielded a response from Al-Koot 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 explained.
He noted that 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, according to him.
He noted that Government will update all stakeholders on the outcome of the inquiry and proceed in accordance with law and the terms of the agreement as it works towards a final resolution of this matter.
Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu, said at the time over from Boakye Agyarko, he did not detect any fraud in the deal.
Mr. Amewu assured Ghanaians that prices of power and power supply would stable.