Minister of Energy, John Peter Amewu, has challenged the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to name government officials who fronted the botched power concession agreement.
Minority Spokesperson on Mines and Energy Committee, Adams Mutawakilu, who believes the suspension of the agreement between the government of Ghana and Power Distribution Services (PDS) goes beyond the alleged breaches of PDS’s obligation to provide Payment Securities has threatened to publish names of some appointees of government who were complicit in the deal.
According to Mr Mutawakilu, the Minority in Parliament will soon publish names of officials in government who were culpable in the failed attempt to enable private sector participation in the operations of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
But Mr Amewu had described that claim by the minority as a joke.
“Well, they should come out and name the people because we are all working in the interest of Ghanaians. So if they have evidence, it is too late for them to be hiding it now. They should bring it out. I will see this as one of the serious jokes I have ever heard…the NDC, as usual, they are all jokers,” he said on Joy News last Wednesday which was monitored by Weekend Today.
Government had explained that the decision to suspend the PDS agreement was due to “fundamental and material breaches of PDS’s obligation in the provision of Payment Securities (Demand Guarantees) for the transaction which have been discovered upon further due diligence.”
Mr Amewu said instead of criticising the government, the minority must complement its effort to bring closure to the matter.
“I think what the NDC should rather be doing at this time is to rather complement the effort of government and even congratulate the agency, the ECG, and government effort – that government did not sleep even during the execution process, because due diligence is a continuous process,” he said.
The energy minister further explained that documents presented by PDS as a guarantee for the takeover of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) was forged.
He said the documents indicated that a company in Qatar guaranteed for PDS but the management of that company told the government it had no knowledge of the document.
Meanwhile, some civil society organisations (CSO) including minority members of Parliament (MPs) have called for an independent probe into the matter.
While the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) wants the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to take over investigations, the minority on the other wants Parliament to do the probe.
Justifying his call for the probe, Chairman of PIAC, Dr Steve Manteaw, said the Energy Ministry cannot be a judge in its own court.
His comment follows an admission by Mr Amewu that the guarantees presented by PDS were not authorised after a series of due diligence tests the guarantees were subjected to by the ECG.
He (Mr Amewu) indicated that the government would further investigate and bring the perpetrators to book.
But, Dr Manteaw yesterday said the government must refer the case to EOCO for proper investigations.
“In an issue where there is fraud involved; I think EOCO is the right body,” he stated.
Also for his part, Minority Leader of Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, called for a full-scale parliamentary probe into the suspension of the concession agreement between the government and the PDS.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament last Wednesday, Mr Iddrisu said the probe was in order to unearth the full facts surrounding the suspension.
PDS became the first private company to manage the affairs of ECG after Ghana won the Power Compact II that will inject some $900 million into power distribution.
ECG’s struggle to make profit over many years prompted the need for a private investor for the sector.
Story: Atta KWAKU BOADI
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