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Gov’t handling of PDS deal hugely disappointing – Mahama

Flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress(NDC) ex-President John Mahama has criticized the Akufo-Addo administration’s handling of the botched PDS deal.

The decision to cancel the agreement has elicited mixed reactions with some describing it as a good move with others accusing parties involved of attempting to fleece the state.

The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah today announced that the Akufo Addo government has accepted the US government’s decision to cancel the $190m tied to the agreement adding that the government was unwilling to bow to pressure from the Millennium Challenge Corporation in saving the concession grant.

Commenting on the issue during the inauguration of the Manifesto Committee of the NDC at the party headquarters in Accra, ex-President Mahama stated that the shame that has been brought on Ghana by what he describes as shady PDS deal was absolutely needless and could be avoided.

“As someone who took over from the late Prof. Mills and supervised the Ghana Compact 2, negotiations with the Millenium Challenge Corporation and the US government I’m deeply disappointed in Nana Akufo Addo’s administration for his handling of the PDS saga. We are all deeply disappointed because of the self-serving decisions that were taken.

He added:”The deliberate acts perpetrated with the connivance of the Flag Staff House in the ECG concessionaire agreement that has led us to where we are today. This was absolutely needless and could have been avoided. The MCC to withdraw $190m of the funding amount is a sad day for us, this amount was meant to improve the efficiency of our electricity utility corporation. Let me emphasize that these shady happenings were absolutely avoidable with the right decisions and the future development of Ghana in mind and not parochial decision which reflects the sad and worsening situation of state capture that we’re increasingly experiencing under the Akufo Addo administration.”

The government in a statement dated Friday, October 18, 2019, signed by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, announced the termination of the 20-year power concession agreement between the ECG and PDS agreement over irregularities found with the latter’s demand guarantee.

The US government then canceled the second tranche of $190 million dollars meant for Ghana under the millennium power compact.

“The United States of America notes this decision with regret. Based upon the conclusions of the independent forensic investigation, the U.S. position is that the transfer of operations, maintenance, and management of the Southern Distribution Network to the private concessionaire on March 1, 2019, was valid, and therefore the termination is unwarranted.

“As such, MCC has confirmed that the $190 million funds granted to Ghana at the March 1 transfer to the 20-year concession from ECG to PDS are no longer available.

“The United States underscores the importance of contract sanctity as essential to a conducive investment climate and a pre-condition for inclusive economic growth. In this spirit, the United States has worked with the Government of Ghana since the latter’s July 30 suspension of the concession in the hopes of finding a mutually acceptable solution that respected contract sanctity and the Government of Ghana’s interest in restructuring the concession,” the statement said.S

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