Last Friday’s termination of the controversial Power Distribution Services (PDS) concession agreement with Ghana by the President, Nana Akufo-Addo government has sent many political observers and social critics revising their notes.
The company was engaged in March, 2019, but had to be suspended in July because it was entangled in a corporate-governance web.
According to the letter of termination, the concession had to be terminated in view of the startling facts uncovered regarding the failure by PDS to satisfy conditions precedent under the relevant transaction.
THE NEW PUBLISHER is of the view that this development goes to vindicate the position of the Energy Minister, Hon. Peter John Amewu, on the matter back in July.
When the deal was suspended, the minister was one of the few political appointees to openly suggest that there was some ‘rot’ that needed to be looked at, for which many political watchers and media houses, including your authoritative NEW PUBLISHER, lambasted him for running his mouth.
On our part, we criticized the Energy Minister because he had spoken ahead of a 30-day fact-finding mission to the US and Qatar We wrote an editorial piece that his assertion was premature and could muddy the waters for investigators, more so when it had contradicted an earlier statement by the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah. Today, government findings suggest that, Hon. Amewu was not wrong, after all.
According to final a report, Al Koot (PDS’s primary insurer) was not authorised by its constitutional documents to underwrite counter party and trade risk. Again, the Guarantee purportedly issued in respect of the Transaction was not an approved product line, neither was it executed by authorised signatories of the company.
The report further disclosed that a letter dated 13th March, 2019 forwarded by MiDA to ECG, purporting to confirm the issuance of the Demand Guarantees was FORGED. Also, Al Koot warned that criminal action would be instituted against personnel and all reinsurers who might have aided and abetted the FRAUDULENT issuance of the unlawful guarantees.
More shocking was that, Al Koot confirmed to a Ghanaian delegation to Qatar that the first time the matter of the purported issuance of demand guarantees as security came to its attention was when it received a letter from the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) in February, 2019, and that it had no previous record of such a transaction.
Most worrying is the disclosure that, apart from the fact that Al Koot did not have the capacity to engage in a transaction worth $500 million over five years, Al-Nouri, Manager of Reinsurance that signed the deal only had the capacity to bind the company to the tune of about US$15,000.
If the above is not fraudulent, then what else is? It is now clear what the Energy Minister meant when he said what he said in July.
THE NEW PUBLISHER’s main concern, however, is that, in the face of Al Koot’s clear denunciation and repudiation of the instruments, coupled with the clear intention not to be bound by any present or future obligation arising out of same, why on earth is the US insisting that the deal should not be terminated?
Are the country representatives of the MCC and MiDA not appreciative of the fact that false declaration and misrepresentation of facts is criminal?
While we support government’s stance, we think that whoever selected the local partners in the deal must be made to answer some questions.