A former Deputy Minister of Energy and Petroleum, John Jinapor, has cautioned government not to take advantage of the current challenges in the energy sector to appropriate shares of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).
Speaking on Adom FM’s Burning Issues on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, Mr Jinapor indicated he suspects some government officials want to acquire shares from the ECG following the suspension of the concession agreement with the Power Distribution Services (PDS).
The Yapei-Kusawgu Legislator also called for the termination of the contract due to an element of “fraud” detected in the contract as revealed by Energy Minister, John Peter Amewu.
Mr Jinapor added that if the government had listened to his caution from the commencement of the processes that the contract will not serve the state’s interest, the brouhaha would have been ameliorated.
“I said from the beginning it was not going to help us. They lacked the financial capacity to take over and the government is lying to us,” he recalled.
“We [NDC] called for a probe into the guarantee to authenticate it before the concession begins but they [NPP] changed it by asking them to start before presenting the guarantee”, he told Akua Boakyewaa Yiadom on Burning Issues.
John Jinapor further questioned the competence of PDS saying they “have performed poorly for the past five months” they took over the distribution of power from ECG.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of Kumasi Institute of Technology, Energy and Environment (KITE), Ishmael Agyekumhene speaking on the same show warned against hasty termination of the contract to avoid a possible judgement debt.
He also advised against quick judgement since investigations are ongoing and could exonerate PDS.
Mr Agyekumhene, however, said Ghanaians “should be glad for the early days’ mishaps” to rectify all errors in the concession that would have been gruesome in future.
A statement by the Information minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said: “the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Ltd. has suspended the concession agreement with Power Distribution Services (PDS) Ghana Limited with immediate effect.”
Additionally, the statement said: “The decision follows the detection of fundamental and material breaches of PDS’ obligation in the provision of 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 government is conducting a full enquiry into the matter, and the outcome will inform the next course of action”.
It added: “Government has taken steps to ensure distribution, billing and payment services continue uninterrupted. The general public and customers are assured that this development will not interfere with the distribution of electricity services to customers”.