Ghana’s Finance Ministry must be blamed for Power Distribution Services’ debacle according to a former Power Minister

A former Power Minister, Kwabena Donkor has said that the Finance Ministry must be blamed for the Power Distribution Services’ (PDS) concession agreement debacle.

Kwabena Donkor, former Minister of Power

In an interview with Accra-based Citi FM, the former minister said that the Finance Ministry played a leading role in the signing of the agreement with the sector minister being the one who appended his signature to finalize the deal.

“The first person that we have to hold responsible for this debacle is the Minister of Finance, the compact was signed by the Minister of Finance not the Minister of Energy. The Minister of Energy has sectoral oversight over ECG and others. MiDA falls under the office of the President.”

He also accused the Attorney General’s Office, the principal legal advisor to government, of also failing to do due diligence before allowing the deal to go through.

“Those who are culpable are, the Finance Minister who signed the whole compact, not necessarily this Finance Minister, the Energy Minister [his office] and then the Attorney General. The Attorney General is the government’s chief legal advisor.”

In the late hours of Tuesday (July 30, 2019) the government suspended a concessionary agreement with PDS for distribution of power in Ghana, with immediate effect. 

A statement said the suspension comes after it discovered “fundamental and material breaches of PDS’ obligation in the provision of Payment Securities (Demand Guarantees).”

The statement which was signed by the Minister for Information said the government did due diligence which led to the discovery of the breach and that further investigations were being carried out to determine the final action on the matter.

But Kwabena Donkor said the government acted sluggishly upon a tip-off earlier in July when their attention was drawn to the possible breach.

“We [Ghana] did not discover this as a result of any due diligence. We were given a tip-off on the 16th of July that these documents that have been produced as bank guarantee was fictitious and that the gentleman who is purported to have signed it, did not have the capacity to sign.”

He added that the Minority in Parliament in 2018 made consistent demands on the government to produce the guarantees for the PDS deal however the government failed to do so.

“We insisted on they producing the guarantees, last year, for us to sight the guarantees. The Government of Ghana [Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Finance] ignored our request.”

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