Saturday, 3 August 2019

Power sector judgement debt looming?

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Since last week, Ghana has been heated with the discussion of the suspension of Power Distribution Services (PDS) as the manager of the a concessionaire that manages electricity distribution in the country.

Many stakeholders have waded into the discussion with others commending the government for the decision to suspend and investigate the deal others are also cautioning government to thread cautiously.

The Chamber of Independent Power Producers, Distribution Companies and Bulk Consumers (CIPDiB) has called on the government to tread cautiously before taking a decision to terminate the power agreement with the Power Distribution Services (PDS) Limited.

The chamber explained that,  the signing of the concession agreement meant that both parties were satisfied with the processes and so any attempt to abrogate the agreement by the government ought to be done in a manner that would not cause the state to suffer losses.

"Two parties to this power arrangement came together, and after expressing satisfaction with the terms of engagement, signed it. So if the government is coming back to say that it cannot continue with this kind of agreement, it has to be done with caution to avoid a heavy cost or embarrassment," the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the chamber, Mr Elikplim Kobla Afetorgbor, stressed when speaking to journalists at the inauguration of the 15-member Board of the CIPDiB in Accra last week.

We are that government has commenced a full-scale inquiry into the detected breaches in the concession agreement with the PDS, which is expected to be completed within 30 days.

According to the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the team conducting the inquiry comprises insurance investigation experts, officials of the Energy and Finance Ministries and officials of ECG as well as MIDA.

Without withstanding the fact that, government is confident that it took a proper decision to suspend the deal, as it says it has material evidence to proof major breach of agreement by the PDS, a thorough and careful investigation is needed which gives fair hearing and consideration of other aspects of the agreement.

This is to help avoid any possible judgement debt against the state.

Economy Times believes that, the issue at stake really look slippery and extra eyes, ears and wisdom are needed by the government actors during and after the investigation to help settle the matter. 

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