The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it has evidence of contradicting names of shareholders of the Power Distribution Services (PDS).
It has, therefore, asked the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, to come out clearly and address the issues concerning the restructuring of the company.
The party said it had evidence that Meralco Consortium, a Filipino company that is part of the companies in charge of power distribution, had been eliminated from the foreign shareholders of the PDS Consortium.
It further alleged that Meralco’s 30 per cent shareholding had been transferred to Meridian Power Ventures Limited without Parliamentary approval and the knowledge of Ghanaians.
At a news conference in Accra yesterday, a former deputy minister of energy and petroleum in the NDC administration, Mr John Abdulai Jinapor, said checks by the NDC revealed that Meridian was incorporated in Hong Kong six days after Cabinet’s approval of Meralco Limited as a 30 per cent foreign shareholder, but it had since been blacklisted by the Hong Kong authorities.
“We challenge the Minister of Finance who has been spearheading the concession and trying to restructure the agreement and shareholding. We have given the Minister of Finance a 24-hr ultimatum to come out and address the issues. Other than that we shall use all legitimate means available to seek redress,” Mr Jinapor stated.
Briefing the media, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, alleged that based on the content of the letter dated October 14, 2019, and addressed to the Chairperson of the Millenium Development Authority (MIDA), Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu, calling for a Special Board Meeting of PDS slated for October 18, 2019, Meralco Limited’s 30 per cent shareholding had been transferred to MVP.
He said the content of the letter which had a list of people invited for that special board meeting of PDS did not include Meralco which originally was a 30 per cent shareholder.
Rather, the letter listed Meridian Power Ventures Limited (MERIDIAN) as a 30 per cent shareholder in addition to Aenergy which owned 19 per cent shareholdings.
Mr Nketia said in the letter, issues to be discussed at the board meeting included the suspension of the PDS concession, the resolution of the issue on the demand guarantee and corporate governance and management processes.
He quoted a portion of the letter which said: “Since the negotiation for the turn-over of the ECG assets and facilities after the PDS Consortium was declared the preferred bidder in the ECG Concession, there have been several issues which have arisen in connection with the governance and management of the ECG concession as well as the board of PDS which unfortunately had not been fully addressed, including the prolonged suspension of the license of PDS and the ECG concession and the issue on the Demand Guarantee.
“Any further delay in the resolution of these issues will be prejudicial to the best interest of all stakeholders, especially the electricity consumers of Ghana. We would like to give you our assurance that we shall act with dispatch to immediately resolve and address these issues in the special board meeting that we called for which we trust would enable the immediate restructuring of the PDS Board and Management towards a more effective governance structure and management.
“With the support of MIDA and under the restructured PDS, we hope to re-establish the trust and confidence of the government of Ghana and show our capability to fulfill what we have set out to do for the development of the electricity distribution services for the benefit of the good people of Ghana.”
Meridian Power Ventures
Explaining the content of the letter, Mr Jinapor said “We have conducted our checks from the authority in Hong Kong which shows that Meridian Power ventures was incorporated in Hong Kong on June 26, 2018. Upon further checks from Hong Kong, we found that the shareholders of Meridian had been blacklisted”.
Mr Jinapor, who is the Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu, also indicated that there was no company known as Aenergy, the 19 per cent shareholder stated in the letter addressed to the Chairperson of MIDA in the Parliamentary document.
“The company listed in the Parliamentary document is Aenergia SA. Who are the owners of the two companies?” he asked.
Meanwhile, a Deputy Minister of Energy in-charge of Power, Mr William Owurako Aidoo, has described the NDC’s position on the matter as “ridiculous, superfluous, total lies and ignorance”, reports Mabel Aku Baneseh.
He said it was normal practice for such transfers to occur and explained that Meralco used Meridian Power Ventures Limited as a Special Purpose Vehicle.
“What the NDC has put out in the public domain are total lies and ignorance. There is no underhand dealings as they are making the public to believe,” Mr Aidoo added.