The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says the PDS scandal is Ghana’s biggest corruption scandal ever.
Addressing a press conference in Accra Monday morning on the PDS issue, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah said the NDC was demanding that the government "completely abandon the idea of proceeding to engage a proposed restrictive tendering process or any other process for that matter for the selection of a new concessionaire with immediate effect."
This, the NDC said should be done "until a total clean up of the relevant state institutions of the crooks that caused the mess in the first place."
"It is imperative that these urgent actions be taken even as we await the official position of the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on the termination of the PDS concession and the future of the power compact itself," Mr Asiedu Nketiah said.
He added that the NDC holds the view that any attempt to select another concessionaire will be "tantamount to fetching water with a leaking basket if those who caused this PDS mess are still at post."
Below is a copy of the NDC address read at Monday morning's press conference.
TERMINATION OF THE PDS CONCESSION: PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO MUST END HIS AGENDA TO APPROPRIATE ECG ASSETS.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the press. Once again we thank you for your presence.
You will recall that last Thursday I addressed a press conference on the PDS saga at which I revisited a number of issues and reminded government of its duty to provide an update to Ghanaians on what was going on relative to the PDS deal. We smelled a rat because we had come across a strange letter addressed to the Board Chair of the MiDA and signed by representatives of Meridian Power Ventures and Aenergy which we made reference to at our last press conference. We smelled a rat because the contents of that letter was in keeping to the pattern of deception and roguery that the Akufo-Addo government has become infamous for.
Barely seventy two hours after our press conference, government through the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta wrote to the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of America to notify them of the termination of the PDS Concession and steps it intends to take to replace PDS with another concessionaire.
Diligent as the NDC is, we had caught President Akufo-Addo pants down, the same way we caught him in the 12 million dollars Oslo Chancery deal, the bloated 800,000 website deal and the attempt to swindle Ghanaians of 800 million dollars in the Ameri Novation deal.
WHY WE ARE IN THIS PDS MESS AND HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Ladies and gentlemen, it must be noted, that in the first place, it was the Akufo-Addo government itself that created the PDS mess through their greed and negligence thereby jeopardizing the over GHS22 billion worth of assets of ECG. In actual fact, we are in this embarrassing mess called PDS because of the shady, if not criminal conduct of the Akufo-Addo government in its handling of the ECG concessionaire agreement.
The following are the three (3) cardinal sins of the Akufo-Addo government which has led us into the PDS quagmire the country presently finds itself in:
* Firstly, the decision of Dr. Bawumia, Ken Ofori Atta and MIDA to change the precondition of a Bank guarantee into an Insurance Guarantee at a meeting at the Jubilee House on 19th February, 2019 as captured on page 8 of the FTI report.
* Secondly, government’s failure to conduct the necessary due diligence on the supposed Insurance guarantee which was provided by PDS before handing over the GHS22 Billion assets of ECG to them. We know from Ken Ofori Atta’s Termination letter, that even though ECG did not receive the requested confirmation and proof of due authorization by Al Koot by the transfer date, ECG was compelled to confirm acceptance of the Demand Guarantee despite the advise by Hunton and Williams LLP, Transaction Advisors to the deal, “Out of a desire to ensure the occurrence of the Transfer by March 1st 2019.
* Thirdly and worse of it all, was when on the blind side of Parliament, the Akufo-Addo government illegally allowed the original partners of the Meralco-led consortium (PDS) to form and transfer their respective shares to SPVs with the intent of isolating themselves from any potential risk and liability.
Under the circumstances, the people of Ghana must hold none other than President Akufo-Addo and his corrupt government responsible for this PDS embarrassment and financial losses it may or has occasioned.
MISTRUST BETWEEN THE AKUFO-ADDO GOVERNMENT AND THE US GOVERNMENT
Ladies and gentlemen,
We have taken note of what Ken Ofori Atta states in his Termination letter in the Public domain to the effect that the American Government has breached an agreement reached with President Akufo-Addo. We do not know the full facts of this accusation which seeks to impugn the integrity of the American government and hope the US authorities will respond appropriately for all to make a judgement.
Suffice it to say however, that given the Akufo-Addo Government’s lack of candor and its record of dishonorable conduct, its account of what transpired at the meeting between President Akufo-Addo and the CEO of MCC should be taken with a pinch of salt. In any case we demand to know the full contents of the said Implementation Plan which was submitted by the MCC to the Akufo-Adddo government.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The fact remains that the US government is well aware of the dubious manouvres employed by President Akufo-Addo and his cabal of family and friends to appropriate the 51% local shareholding in the ECG concession for themselves and have been minded to protect its 500 million dollar grant to Ghana. The US government and Ghanaians have not forgotten Ken Ofori-Atta’s letter of 27th March, 2019 which sought to nicodemously restructure the Ghanaian shareholding in PDS for the benefit of his cronies. We have also not forgotten President Akufo-Addo’s trips to Angola and France and the secret meetings he held with EDF and AEnergia SA respectively.
Additionally, we know of the trip by a large government delegation led by the Minister of Energy, Peter Amewu to the Philippines, to meet with Meralco, a company he had cited for defrauding Ghana.
It is these underhand dealings that have generated mistrust between the US government on the one hand and the Ghanaian government on the other thereby jeopardizing the whole Power Compact. It is also the reason why the good people cannot trust the selfish, greedy and corrupt Akufo-Addo government to fix this PDS mess.
RESTRICTIVE TENDERING PROPOSAL
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In his latest letter, Ken Ofori Atta proposes the use of a restrictive tendering process to replace PDS. This is not an option that Ghanaians and the MCC should even consider. It is a no no. Ghanaians can never and should never trust the very same Ken Ofori Atta, Keli Gadzekpo, Esson Benjamin, Dr. Bawumia and President Akufo-Addo who caused this PDS mess to do any thorough job. There is too much corruption in their DNA.
Who doesn’t know how the Akufo-Addo government has in recent times abused the Procurement Law through illegal sole sourcing and restrictive tendering transactions leading to several corruption scandals such as the Osafo Marfo’s 1 million dollar Kroll scandal, the PPA scandal, the NYA scandal, just to mention a few.
In fact, the proposal to use restrictive tendering to select a replacement for PDS is yet another well-calculated scheme to allow the Akufo-Addo government cook the ECG Concession for themselves.
THE WAY FORWARD
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, in the light of the clear mess created by the mishandling of the PDS deal and the apparent corrupt motives informing it:
1. The NDC demands the immediate dissolution of the MIDA Board and the Keli Gadzekpo-led ECG Board. They have failed the nation and proven to be undeserving of the critical mandate which have been entrusted into their care by Ghanaians. They have proven to be lackeys in the service of a greedy cabal of family and friends hell bent on appropriating a critical national asset like ECG. Ghana deserves better.
2. We demand an immediate forensic audit of the accounts of PDS by an internationally reputable Audit firm, and the total refund of all monies which have accrued to or been collected by them from power consumers since 1st March 2019 when they took over the Power Distribution Business of ECG. We need our money now!
3. We also demand the immediate resignation or dismissal of the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister of Energy, Peter Amewu, and the prosecution of all officials who played a role in this stinking scandal for the offense of Willfully Causing Financial Loss to the state among others.
4. Finally, we demand that the Akufo-Addo government completely abandons the idea of engaging in the proposed restrictive tender process for the selection of a new concessionaire with immediate effect, pending the total clean up of all relevant state institutions and actors who are responsible for this mess.
It is imperative, that these urgent actions be taken even as we await the official position of the MCC on the termination of the PDS Concession and the future of the Power Compact. The NDC holds the view, that any attempt to select another concessionaire will be tantamount to fetching water with a leaking basket if those who caused this PDS mess are still post.
Distinguish friends from the media, we have stated time again that this PDS issue is the biggest corruption scandal in the history of Ghana and we shall be unrelenting in our demand for probity and accountability from the Akufo-Addo government.
Without sounding boastful, this PDS expose’ further underscores the NDC’s status as a credible stakeholder in the fight against corruption and the protection of the Public purse. Through our vigilance and diligence we have saved Ghana billions of dollars in several corrupt deals which have been perpetrated by the Akufo-Addo government such as the fraudulent Ameri-Mytilenous deal, the Oslo Chancery deal, the bloated website scandal among others. The NDC will remain vigilant in order to protect the assets of ECG in the interest of Ghanaians.
President Akufo-Addo must be forced to abandon his grand design to take over the GHS22 Billion assets of ECG for the benefit of his family and friends because it is at variance with the national interest.
We thank you for coming.
Comrade Johnson Asiedu Nketiah (General Secretary)