General News of Friday, 16 August 2019
The Minority in Parliament has declared its support for an independent forensic audit into the PDS concession agreement debacle.
It says it is confident that an independent forensic audit into the matter will help bring closure to the matter than the government’s supposed investigation.
The caucus earlier this week petitioned the US Embassy in Ghana over the suspended PDS concession agreement, urging the embassy to conduct an investigation into the matter since it did not trust the said ongoing investigation by the government into the matter.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Minority spokesperson on Foreign Affairs in an interview on Eyewitness News on Wednesday said they believe the government and some persons close to the government were complicit in the botched deal hence their mistrust for the government’s investigations.
He stressed that the failure of the government to name those conducting the investigation and give other details about the exercise gives the minority enough cause to believe the outcome will be not fair.
But following a statement from the US Embassy in response to a query by Citi News on its position with regards to the turn of events concerning the concession agreement, the US Embassy stated that it was happy about a decision by the Board of Directors of MiDA to have the matter independently investigated, an announcement the minority says is in line with their believe.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa in an interview on Eyewitness News said, “this is a significant shift in the position of the US Authorities. The US Authorities in a response to Daily Graphic on the 4th of August had said that government should be thorough in their investigation. This time, there is a thorough shift where they are putting their trust now in an independent forensic auditor…. Which is exactly the point the minority has been making that you cannot trust the government in this matter when top functionaries stand complicit…We welcome the current position.”
We’ll volunteer information to independent investigator
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa added that the minority is prepared to give more information on the development to the independent investigator to ensure that circumstances that led to the occurrence of a breach in the concession agreement are unravelled.
Ablakwa, however, called for more details about the firm or individual conducting the forensic investigation.
“We are arranging further contacts. We believe this independent forensic auditor ought to be named and those who have the information need to be encouraged, including the minority need to be encouraged so that we all get to the bottom of this. We will available ourselves. We are very happy about this new development.”
The PDS concession was suspended on July 30, 2019, leading to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Limited temporarily re-assuming power distribution responsibilities in Ghana.
There have been reports of forged documents by some partners and the Government has begun an enquiry into possible lapses in the deal which was part a key requirement of Ghana by the US government for an over $400 facility to improve power services in the country under the Millennium Compact II.