‘PDS shares were not evaluated before transaction’

Dr Steve Manteaw, the Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) has questioned the process that gave 51per cent majority shares of Power Distribution Service (PDS) to the citizenry.

He maintained that Santa Baron Ventures-Ghana, TG Energy Solution-Ghana, GTS Engineering (Ghana) Limited and TBK (Ghana) Limited were not evaluated before picked to hold majority shares which was material breeches leveled against PDS by the government, in relation to insurance guarantees tendered to secure some $18billion assets belonging to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

On July 24, 2018, Parliament approved the concession agreement between the government and the consortium led by the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO)
 which was reconstituted to form a consortium, became known as Power Distribution Service (PDS) with majority Ghanaian shareholding.

The shareholding arrangement of PDS is Manila Electric (Meralco) of The Philippines, 30 per cent; Aenergia SA (Angola), 19 per cent; Santa Baron Ventures-Ghana; 13 per cent; TG Energy Solution-Ghana; 18 per cent; GTS Engineering (Ghana) Limited; 10 per cent, and TBK (Ghana Limited); 10 per cent.

Until its suspension, the PDS was responsible for managing the retail and distribution business of ECG since March this year.

According to Dr Manteaw “the crisis PDS is currently battling with, shows majority shareholders lack capacity to manage an investment as huge as ECG, local partners lack financial muscles to invest $100,000,000 dollars annually for period of five years to improve fortunes of ECG”. 

He blamed situation on opaque and skewed manner Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), the body responsible for managing ECG/PDS concession agreement, handled processes,  alleged the qualification bar was lowered for “people to take over”, claimed for instance, conditions for winning consortium to provide local content was “originally a condition precedent” but changed to condition subsequent. 

Dr Manteaw further alleged that “persons who won the bid were not evaluated against any guideline, whilst I welcome the government’s investigation of breaches securing insurance guarantees by PDS, investigation be broadened to include role MiDA played in processes to ensure it does not happen again,” and suggested selecting local partners in future, floatation of shares on stock market for interested citizens to purchase. -myjoyonline.com

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