Investigate MiDA, IFC over PDS saga – CSOs

A coalition of civil society organisations has urged the government to investigate the role of the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the alleged fraud over the Power Distribution Service (PDS) and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) concession agreement.

The group, made up of representatives of IMANI Ghana, ISODEC, PIAC, among other well-known organisations, alleged that MiDA and IFC, the two major transaction advisors in the concession agreement, engaged in forgery and other fraudulent acts, right from the beginning of the processes leading to the concession agreement.

At a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, the group, known as the Coalition of Stakeholders on the ECG Concession Arrangement (COSSECA), said in the initial stages of the agreement, MiDA forged and circulated letters purported to be coming from the PURC and Energy Commission in respect of draft tariff methodology and electricity distribution and sales licence.  

It also accused the IFC of having interest in some of the companies it had selected as part of the bidders for the agreement. 

The Vice Chairman of the COSSECA, Richard Nyamah, said the group, in September 2016, sought to stop the concession arrangement based on fundamental breaches of the law and processes in law court, but the court did not hear their plea.

He stated that the court said plaintiff (COSSECA) had no locus.

On the PDS/ECG saga, he said as part of the Condition Precedents, there was supposed to be a demand guarantee for bulk supply of energy in the sum of US$250 million to cover three months’ supply of energy.

Also, he said the agreement required a demand guarantee for lease payments of US$100 million of US$2.5 billion worth of ECG’s assets with a guarantee of US$100 million to be posted by PDS.

“Both guarantees were to be in the form of letters of credit or bank guarantee by a class ‘A’ bank rating certified by Standard and Poor’s (SP). The word and nature of this guarantee was all stated in the agreement.

“PDS as a new company had no experience nor the financial muscle to raise the required guarantees mentioned above purely based on its books and financials,” he said, and added that as part of the guarantees, tariffs were to be adjusted as a condition for PDS to use the said adjustment to raise the needed guarantees from an ‘A’ bank.

Mr Nyamah said realising the failure of PDS to meet the condition precedent, MiDA decided to change the letter of credit or bank guarantee from an A- bank to an insurance guarantee and described the MiDA’s act as a breach of the terms and conditions of the concession.

He further alleged that MiDA, in its dealings, had exposed Ghana to financial risks, taking into consideration the assets of ECG worth in excess US$2.5 billion which was leased to PDS.  

While commending government’s decision to suspend the agreement, he urged Ghanaians to redirect their anger and effort at MiDA and IFC who, from the beginning, had not pursued the interest of Ghanaians. 

“To this effect, we wish to urge President Akufo-Addo and the investigations team to extend their investigations to include MiDA and IFC who are complicit in all this.

“We also recommend that Mr Martin Eson-Benjamin, the CEO of MiDA be asked to proceed on leave in order not to tamper with evidence and investigations into the role MiDA and IFC played in the ongoing saga,” he said.

He called on Ghanaians to support the President and the government to investigate the matter to the end, and described the President’s decision to suspend the agreement as a bold one, which needed the support of Ghanaians. 


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