Claims gov’t officials conspired in PDS deal ‘illogical’ – Oppong Nkrumah

The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah has described as illogical claims that some Government officials were conspiring to take a national asset in the Power Distribution Services (PDS) concession deal.

Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah says government would not have called for a full-scale inquiry into the matter if there were intentions to take a public asset as part of the contract.

The Minority in Parliament accused government officials of trying to use the PDS concession agreement with Ghana to loot the country’s coffers.

But the Minister urged the public to “dismiss that propaganda.”

“The claim by some of our political opponents that this was an attempt to conspire and take a national asset which has gone bad…that argument lacks logic and it is just one of those political things that people throw out there to try and create disaffection for an administration that is rather doing the right thing in the interest of the Republic of Ghana.”

The Minister was speaking at a press briefing in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region where he reiterated the Government’s commitment to prioritize Ghana’s interests in the PDS saga.

“The administration did not seek to find ways of covering up anything or being funny behind the scenes but was upfront, bold and clear to say let us suspend [the deal],” he stressed.

He also reminded that the deal is not yet sealed.

“What is important to note is that during this continuous due diligence that is going on, the deal is not sealed until September, when the conditions subsequently have all been completed. And at any point in time as we go through the processes until September, if something is found awry, the Republic has an option that it can exercise under this agreement.”

Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah also responded to arguments that government overreacted by suspending the deal.

He insisted that it would have been irresponsible not to act with urgency.

“Of course, we should overreact. This is a three billion dollar national asset that we are giving on a concession to a third party to assist ECG to manage.”

The PDS deal was suspended for breaches in the company’s obligation to Ghana.

There have been reports of a forged document being involved in the deal prompting the Government to begin a probe into possible lapses in fulfilling some aspects of the deal.

The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) first assumed the responsibility of running power distribution in Ghana’s southern zone temporarily.

But in the latest development, the ECG has agreed to allow PDS to carry on with “all activities related to electricity retail sale.”

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