The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers has questioned the Electricity Company of Ghana’s (ECG) to allow Power Distribution Services (PDS) to carry on with all activities related to electricity retail sale.
It called the arrangement between PDS and ECG lawless and called for its immediate suspension.
In a statement, COPEC asked: “who gave ECG the overriding powers to contract a company that has been duly suspended by the Minister of Energy?”
COPEC further questioned if the Minister of Energy had any authority in the sector given the recent development.
It said the “situation only exposes the deeper influences of faceless persons other than those known appointees who have been vetted into public offices to protect the public purse.”
“In the light of all these, our greatest worry stem from the fact that, such reckless actions within the Energy sector has over the years served the bane for the mounting debts which governments eventually heap onto fuel prices for the trotro, taxi and other unsuspecting drivers as well as industries to pay for through fuel taxes.”
COPEC also had a series of questions suggesting a need for clarity on the status of the state’s suspension of the concession agreement with PDS.
Without answers to its questions, COPEC said it one could conclude that there is “a much powerful cartel operating currently within the country whose powers go above the laws of the land and even the investigative and prosecutorial powers of the state.”
Apprehension from Minority
A former Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor, also insists that the government cannot be trusted in its handling of the PDS suspension.
The government has rubbished earlier concerns raised by Mr. Jinpor feels there may be a cover-up in play.
“We suspected that there will be an attempt to reintroduce PDS through the backdoor and this is a clear manifestation of a deliberate attempt to hoodwink the people of Ghana,” he said on Eyewitness News.
Find below the full COPEC statement
HALT THE NEEDLESS BLEEDING OF THE ENERGY SECTOR, SUSPEND THE LAWLESS CONTRACT BETWEEN ECG AND PDS IMMEDIATELY TO ALLOW INVESTIGATIONS TO PROCEED
News of a purported agreement between the country’s power distributor ( ECG ) and the recently suspended Power Distribution Services ( PDS ) leaves nothing but anxiety in the minds of the Ghanaian public in view of recent developments.
The Government, a few days announced the immediate suspension of an earlier agreement for PDS to take over the management and assets of ECG citing fraud as the main reason for this action.
Ghanaians were promised an investigation into unravelling both the persons behind this fraudulent acquisition and the extent of losses or otherwise to the public (state )
Contrary to this assurance and all other promises to ensure value for money audit, the same agency ( ECG ) whose assets were acquired fraudulently and for which PDS is currently under investigation has made a rather interesting but questionable decision to re-contract this same company to continue with all other services it initially was engaged for.
A number of questions arise and we demand of authorities to respectfully provide legitimate answers to the following :
1. Who gave ECG the overriding powers to contract a company that has been duly suspended by the Minister of Energy?
2. Who in PDS engaged in the purported fraud as earlier indicated by the Hon John Peter Amewu and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah?
3. What happened to the 30 days investigations that were promised by Government?
4. Is fraud still a crime/offence under the laws of this country?
5. How many people have so far been arrested for this fraud that has been allegedly perpetrated on the good people of this country?
6. Does PDS still stand suspended or the said suspension has itself been suspended?
7. Has PDS been able to properly account for its earlier stewardship or control of ECG until its suspension?
8. How much has been lost ( gained ) in the earlier fraudulent transaction perpetrated by PDS?
9. Is ECG now operating ultra vires or illegally by contracting a company whose fraudulent acquisition of its assets is currently a subject of governmental or state investigations?
10. Who exactly are the paid directors of the PDS and how much exactly is their contributions, shareholding and capacity in handling the capital and human assets of ECG?
Until answers are provided for the above, one can only but conclude that there is indeed a much powerful cartel operating currently within the country whose powers go above the laws of the land and even the investigative and prosecutorial powers of the state.
Further the impunity with which this new ECG agreement or contract with PDS is being executed leaves us all wondering whether indeed the Minister of Energy is in charge of the very sector he has been appointed to head, as this situation only exposes the deeper influences of faceless persons other than those known appointees who have been vetted into public offices to protect the public purse.
In the light of all these, our greatest worry stem from the fact that, such reckless actions within the Energy sector has over the years served the bane for the mounting debts which governments eventually heap onto fuel prices for the trotro, taxi and other unsuspecting drivers as well as industries to pay for through fuel taxes.
The mounting debts which we eventually convert to bonds and taxes will sure not cease if we allow such impunity, lawlessness and clear fraudulent manipulations of the Energy sector to continue.