$170 Million Judgement Debt: NDC accuses Government of negligence

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President Akufo -Addo

Mr Sammy Gyamfi, National Communications Officer, National Democratic Congress (NDC), says negligence on the part of Government officials led to Ghana incurring $170 million judgement debt awarded to Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC).

He said facts as contained in the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Tribunal, showed that the huge judgement debt of $170 million had been occasioned by the negligence, incompetence and recklessness of the Government.

He said Government’s willful recklessness in terminating the GPGC EPA on the basis of contrived and frivolous basis was the reason why Ghana had been slapped with this avoidable judgment debt.

Mr Gyamfi stated this on Monday at a Press Conference in Accra.

Giving a brief background leading to the signing of the agreement between the Government and the GPGC, Mr Gyamfi recalled that Ghana was confronted with a serious power crisis also known as “Dumsor” between the year 2013 and 2015 which negatively affected citizens, businesses and the economy as a whole.

He said the problem which was not a new phenomenon, was largely occasioned by a power generation capacity shortfall; saying President John Dramani Mahama at the time, did not seek to apportion blame but instead took full responsibility for the age-long problem and set out to address the country’s generation capacity deficit through the fastest mobilization of emergency power ever witnessed in the history of this country.

He said the goal was not only to produce power to meet the nation’s immediate power demand as a country but to produce more power to meet their ever-increasing future power needs and more importantly, to potentially increase the amount of power we export to neighboring and other Sahalian countries for revenue.

He said one of such Emergency Power Agreements (EPA) that the erstwhile NDC administration executed in furtherance of the vision was the EPA with the GPGC for the supply of 107MW of power.

He said the Agreement which was signed on 3rd June, 2015 was negotiated by a competent team of technical experts from the then Ministry of Power, the Electricity Company of Ghana, the Volta River Authority and the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

He said after the crack team of experts had negotiated the EPA and approved its contents, the EPA was approved by Cabinet and later, the Parliament on 23rd July, 2015 with the NPP-side fully participating in the approval process, both at the Mines and Energy committee level and at the plenary.

“It is worthy of note that among the EPAs executed by the Government of Ghana, the GPGC EPA was the one with the most favorable terms for us as a country.

Firstly, it had a capacity charge of four United States Cents per KW/H with GoG’s payments denominated in Ghana cedis and secondly, it had the shortest duration of four years.

Thirdly, and more importantly, it was the only EPA under which the Government of Ghana was not required to provide any financial guarantee or standby Letters of Credit.”

Mr Gyamfi said the implementation of the GPGC EPA proceeded smoothly under the NDC administration until the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government took over the reins of power in the year 2017.

He said on 13th February, 2018, the then Minister of Energy, wrote to terminate the GPGC EPA; adding that the termination of the GPGC EPA, according to the Minister, was on the instructions of Cabinet.

He said the reasons which were cited by the NPP-led Government as the basis for the termination of the GPGC EPA did not include any issue of excess power or excess capacity charges as the Government would have Ghanaians believe.

He accused the Government of failing to take advantage of the opportunity they were offered by the company to remedy the situation or reinstate the EPA as they had promised.

“This is why the wrongful termination of the GPGC EPA by the Government and the avoidable financial loss it has occasioned the State is unpardonable,” he said.

“As a party, we are very sad that all of us as Ghanaians will have to cough up this colossal amount of money, $170 million, which is equivalent to GHS1.2 billion cedis or 10.2 trillion Old Ghana cedis and which accrues interest daily, compounded on a monthly basis.”

He said this colossal amount could have been channeled for the provision of infrastructure for Ghanaians.

Mr Gyamfi reiterated that the perpetrators of this evil must not go unpunished; saying “the NDC hereby calls for investigations into the circumstances surrounding the unlawful termination of the GPGC EPA”.

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