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PDS deal not abrogated, government only expressing intent – Lawyer

A private legal practitioner, Yaw Oppong believes that the Finance Ministry’s letter on the ‘termination’ of government’s concession with the Power Distribution Services (PDS) merely communicates the government’s position on the matter.

He said the information suggesting that the termination of the contract may have happened already is inconclusive.

“The letter under reference which was indicated by the Minister of Finance has led some people to the conclusion that the concession has been canceled. I think perhaps, instead of saying termination of PDS, I would have thought that it would maybe have been ‘notice of intention of termination’ and that will have saved us this act of splitting of hairs.”

The Energy Ministry has also clarified that the government is following due process to ultimately renounce the concession agreement with PDS.

Its Head of Communications, Nana Damoah told Citi News that the government has only conveyed its intention to cancel the deal.

“The government has conveyed a decision it has taken as a government of Ghana to terminate the PDS concession through the Millennium Challenge Corporation. (MCC). The concession is a form of a contract that has due processes laid down within it for addressing all matters that come up. So far, the government has conducted in line with the due processes as laid down in the agreement. I do not see that the government may want to do anything to deviate from that strict adherence to that due process. The government has taken the decision to terminate and it has effectively communicated to the MCC.”

The Ministry has also distanced itself from any of the lapses that have culminated in the termination of the PDS concession agreement.

Nana Damoah insisted that the government was not negligent in its handling of the failed deal.

He essentially said the job of performing due diligence was in the hands of the two key advisors to the managers of the Compact; International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Hunton and Williams, an international law firm based in New York.

The Energy Ministry spokesperson noted that the Government was concerned with whether the due diligence IFC and Hunton and Williams were enforcing on the PDS deal was compliant with relevant laws.

“You are in a transaction where you have appointed a transaction advisor. The transaction advisor’s job is to carry out all of these necessary due diligence tests.”

Following the cancellation of the PDS deal, there have already been calls for sanctions.

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), for example, has demanded that the government cause the arrest and prosecution of persons who represented Ghana in signing the now cancelled concession deal.

source:ghanaweb.com

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