Government’s suspension of PDS agreement timely – AGI
The Association of Ghana Industries says the government’s suspension of the agreement between it and Power Distribution Services (PDS) is timely, in order to secure national assets and to make way for a thorough investigation into the matter.
Speaking at a press conference, Dr Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, the President of the Association of Ghana Industries, said the expectation of the Compact to play a pivotal role in transforming the power sector remained high as it is a potential game changer in our energy sector.
“It is worrying therefore that the concession agreement, (arising out of the Compact) upon further due diligence is reported to be fraught with possible breaches on the insurance guarantee, which has led to the suspension of the agreement,” he said.
Mr Adu Gyamfi said, while AGI awaits the outcome of investigations on the agreement, government should ensure that the efficiency in the power sector is maintained.
“The original objective of the compact, to bring efficiency in the power sector to enable energy to be supplied to consumers at competitive prices, should remain our foremost objective,” he said.
The AGI expects to see reliable power supply at competitive tariffs under any power agreement negotiated by government. This is even more crucial with the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement that opens our economy into the largest single market since the formation of the WTO.
Currently, the high cost of electricity is already a barrier to our competitiveness and it is expedient that industry gets lower tariffs to help reduce our cost of production within this single market.
Ghanaian industries will be at serious disadvantage if the currently high and uncompetitive power tariffs continue to prevail.
Dr Adu Gyamfi said local participation in Ghana’s power agreement was paramount to achieve the efficiency objective of the Compact.
Further to this, “we expect that majority local participation is maintained to bolster growth of industry and local capacity development”.
He urged government to explore the possibility of utilising some internally available funds such as pension funds to ensure local participation.
This funding arrangement will help retain profits locally and as well, reduce potential challenges associated with foreign exchange cover.
“With the uncertainty arising out of this setback, we call on government to ensure that the interim measures put in place will not compromise our energy security and prospects of having an improved power sector,” Mr Adu Gyamfi said. GNA