Nana Addo: Suspension of PDS concession was to protect ECG’s $3bn assets

President Nana Akufo-Addo has justified the government’s decision to suspend its concession agreement with Power Distribution Services.

He said the decision was in the interest of the public as it was important to protect the assets of the Electricity Company of Ghana which is worth some $3 billion.

Addressing the Ghanaian community in Angola as part of his two-day visit to that country, President Akufo-Addo said the delegation sent to Qatar have held meetings over the matter and are on their way back to Ghana to report the outcome of the deliberation.

We decided that the first thing to do was protect the public assets by suspending the participation of this private sector operator and returning the control of the assets to ECG while the process of investigation will be carried out. Two days ago, I sent a delegation to Qatar which is the origin of the guarantee to go and find out exactly what the situation is then we know exactly where we are…It was necessary for us to act in that manner to protect the public assets. ECG assets are in excess of GHC 3bn. These are not assets that you take lightly.”

Speaking on why the government decided to make the suspension public, Akufo-Addo said it was to ensure transparency.

“It is better that these matters are brought into the public space for the country to know exactly what is going on and therefore be able to hold the government to account for their stewardship,” he added.

This is the first time the President is commenting on the mater since it started about three weeks ago.

There is a full-scale investigation ongoing in the alleged agreement breaches and a committee made up of experts comprising insurance investigation experts, officials of the Energy and Finance ministries and officials of the ECG and MIDA have been given 30 days to complete the probe.

Although the Energy Commission last week announced the appointment of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) as the interim operator to take charge of the management and operation of electricity sales in the country, ECG and PDS have in a joint statement issued on Thursday announced a decision to allow PDS continue all the suspended activities to avoid disruptions in power supply and service delivery in the country.

The statement said Power Distribution Services will be responsible for meter reading, billing, distribution of bills, bill reconciliation, revenue collection, and new service connections.

PDS will also undertake disconnection exercises, replacement of faulty meters and networks, repair works as well as attend to complaints and fault reporting to the call centres.