I watched Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko’s latest interview with Paul Adom Otchere on the Good Evening Ghana where rather than speaking to the facts and addressing the monumental failure of the Akufo-Addo government, he chose to make baseless, concocted and outrageous allegations against the person of Former President John Dramani Mahama.
His comments could only be an unmistakable sign of desperation and hopelessness emanating from a clueless government that only succeeded in ascending to power through deceit and political jugglery.
Ordinarily, I would have treated these contrived statements with the contempt they deserve, but knowing the closeness of Gabby Otchere-Darko to his uncle, President Akufo-Addo and the enormous political influence he wields within the government, I deem it necessary to set the records straight and to save Ghanaians from being fed with further falsehood.
Mr Asare Otchere-Darko makes the claim that Former President Mahama was irresponsible in his quest to comprehensively deal with the energy challenge that had confronted the Nation for decades. As if that was not enough, Gabby astonishingly had the courage to make corruption allegations against President Mahama amongst other frivolous claims.
It is an undeniable fact that President Mahama handed over a revitalised and robust Energy sector to the NPP after successfully pursuing sound and pragmatic Policies which resulted in a comprehensive resolution of the Energy sector challenges.
It is instructive to note that prior to the interview on Metro TV, Gabby had made similar claims to the effect that the NPP Government had saved Ghana an amount of US$7.6 billion from the termination of some 11 Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) entered into by the erstwhile Mahama Administration.
Gabby and his government have since been challenged by my very good self and other industry players to publish details of the so-called terminated PPAs which he has since failed to honour.
Interestingly, these wild claims of saving were recently discounted by the ECG (which is the off-taker and the signatory to the said terminated agreements) at a presentation to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy.
This is a Government, which is quick to make outrageous claims of achievements but never able to substantiate same with empirical evidence.
Once again I challenge Gabby and his acolytes to publish the full list of the PPAs that he claims have been cancelled and the details of savings made thereof for public scrutiny.
This, obviously, is yet another attempt to squander public funds in the name of dubious compensation payments for the termination of contracts. Clearly, the Akufo-Addo government and the NPP have lost focus, hence their continuous resort to total mendacity and sheer political chicanery.
Rather than continuously whining about the so-called excess generation capacity, the Akufo-Addo government should focus on expanding national electricity coverage and the exportation of power to neighbouring countries which the Mahama administration made significant progress. For the record, this Government has so far managed to achieve a paltry 2% increment in national electricity expansion and will certainly go down in history as the worst-performing Government in the 4th Republic.
Even more disturbing is the fact that the expansion of our transmission lines from 161KV to 330KV which begun under President Mahama with the intention to expand exportation of power to Burkina Faso and other neighbouring countries has stalled under this Government. These are the vexed issues that should occupy government’s attention.
Gabby should explain to Ghanaians what has happened to the LNG Project which was started by Quantum Group. A project which was designed to further bring down the cost of electricity through the use of LNG together with its infrastructure which was to be a catalyst to further strengthen our energy export dominance to countries like Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo etc.
This incompetent government decided to cancel the agreement and turn round to create another entity under the name BELM ostensibly to create a new purported structure to work with Gasprom metamorphosed into Rosneft and Helios Towers, a project which has since stagnated.
The so-called excess capacity can only be the result of bad policy decisions and the legendary incompetence of this government.
On the critical issue of the PDS scandal which will surely consume the Akufo-Addo Government, Gabby’s claim that President Akufo-Add only sought to serve the interest of Ghana through such dubious scheme is not only laughable but ludicrous.
How can the very people whose greed, gross negligence and culpability have led to this scandal of gargantuan proportion turn around to blame President Mahama for this embarrassing spectacle?
The desperate attempt by Gabby to shift the blame of this stinking PDS scandal on President Mahama only confirms that this current administration has lost its way and definitely sailing in a sinking ship.
Let me reiterate that the current PDS scandal is as a direct result of greed on the part of current government officials and their cronies who, instead of serving the interest of the country rather chose to create, loot and share the spoils of the concession.
I want go put the Akufo-Addo Government on notice that, we are well aware of attempts to reapportion the shares of PDS to cronies despite the open fraud and illegality that has characterised this stinking deal.
We are not surprised because this has always been the agenda but we wish to assure this will not be countenanced in any form or shape.
I want Ghanaians to know that, as at the date of PDS taking over the assets of ECG (based on the findings from the two reports commissioned by Mida/MCC and the subcommittee of the MiDA board) conditions 24 &31 where not met making the takeover illegal and as such we expect government to do the right thing by terminating the PDS contract.
Finally, I would like to advise Mr Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko to concentrate his efforts at helping his uncle President Akufo-Addo compile his hand over notes since Ghanaians are in no mood to vote for a Government that has perpetuated such blatant levels of cronyism and nepotism whilst the ordinary Ghanaian is subjected to the suffering of unimaginable suffering.
John Abdulai Jinapor
Former Deputy Minister of Energy and Petroleum