IMANI: Government caused PDS ‘mess’

Policy think tank, IMANI Africa, has stated that the government is to blame for the Power Distribution Services (PDS) ‘mess’  however, it disagrees with calls for the prosecution of its directors following their botched deal with the government and Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

“We also don’t accept the view that PDS principals should be prosecuted, it is obvious their challenge is lack of capacity and resources, which led them to rely on insurance brokers and other advisors of rather questionable quality which is not a crime per se because it is the government that should have ensured the ‘mess’ did not happen in the first place,” it said.

But a statement issued by Franklin Cudjoe, the President of IMANI Africa on the development, said those calls are not supported by the facts of the matter and also faulted the government for turn of events and withdrawal of compact support and assisted by US government.

“What is required at this stage is strategic partner with muscle to invest $650 million to modernise the grid, staying with PDS in the hope of securing $190 million from the US-controlled Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) does not help us achieve goal.

“This is however, not to endorse the government’s actions, we fault its role in anointing PDS following shambolic local content “farm-in” processes that it supported and assisted throughout when it shouldn’t have, having got to messy situation as a result of the government’s actions, termination is least problematic of options available, we also urge the government to be transparent in quest for private investor in power sector.

“It is important to also point out that so long as the Public Utility Regulation Company remains a politicised institution packed with government-friendly appointees instead of  highly professionalised, technocratic, regime charged with focused solely on technical standards regulation, consumer rights, dispute resolution, adjudication within energy value chain, anti-competitive behaviour, corporate governance, tariff setting based on transparent technical formula, we will not find strategic partner to put in considerable investment required to modernise the grid.

“The government’s preference for backroom dealing, exemplified by its proposal to use restricted tendering to select new partners, after has happened, completely needless, posture should change completely, we are tired of botched utility reform projects in the country,” the statement said. -starrfmonline.com

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