Government sued over ECG sale

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An advocate for the protection of public proper­ty has filed a suit at the high court seeking to stop the proposed Private Sector Participation (PSP) in Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) Limited.

The plaintiff, Saaka Salia of Kotobabi, Accra, wants the court to restrain the gov­ernment from taking steps to allow private participa­tion in the distribution and management of electricity in the country. In other words, the sale of the company.

He has cited the Attor­ney General, Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) and the Energy Commission as the defen­dants.

He wants a declaration that the complained conduct of MiDA “and it’s said advi­sor or consultant in author­ing and/or circulating said draft tariff methodology is improper and offends Act 538 particularly, Section 3 and 16.”
Saaka Salia also wants the court to declare that PURC “is the body with exclusive mandate by law to provide guidelines for determining tariffs and levels of tariffs, and in doing so in the manner prescribed by Act 538.”

Furthermore, the plain­tiff wants a declaration that “the said electricity distribu­tion and sale licence is a for­gery and an act in fraud, particularly as its authors and/or circulators used the logo of the Energy Commis­sion without prior knowl­edge and permission of the commission.”

The plaintiff again wants the court to declare that “all transactions or processes touching and concerning the said concession arrangement for the ECG using said tariff methodology docu­ment are null and void,” and a further declaration that “all transactions or processes touching and con­cerning the said concession arrangement for the ECG using said electricity distri­bution and sale licence doc­ument are null and void.”

He also wants a declara­tion that MiDA and its advi­sors circulating the docu­ment dated April 21 and 29, 2016 respectively “are not fit to participate in the said concession arrangement for the ECG,” as well as an order directed at the AG, PURC and Energy Commis­sion to “ensure strict and full compliance with Act 538 and Energy Act, 1997 (Act 541) for any future transactions concerning the ECG.”

He also wants an order to restrain the AG, PURC and Energy Commission “from proceeding with, dealing with, or participating in any processes touching on and concerning the said concession arrangement for which the said documents have been associated.”

In his statement of claim, Mr Saaka Salia averred that the government, acting through the ministries of power and finance, in con­cert with MiDA, “adver­tised, received bids and shortlisted six companies in ongoing PSP in ECG processes in proposed con­cession for the management, operation and investments in the electricity distribution business of the ECG.”

According to the plain­tiff, the said transaction is intended to “fulfill agree­ment between the Ghana government and the MiDA acting for and on behalf of the United States govern­ment concerning the Ghana Power Compact under the Millennium Challenge Account.”

The plaintiff further averred that the critical mandatory requirement in the said PSP in ECG processes or transactions “are a tariff methodology and electricity distribution and sale respectively, for which the PURC and the Energy Commission are the two statutory bodies with exclusive mandate to pro­vide and grant.”

He said MiDA, acting through international Finance Corporation (IFC) which is the advisor or con­sultant, “has initiated and circulated a draft tariff methodology and electricity distribution and sale licence respectively without recourse whatsoever, to the PURC and the Energy Com­mission.”

The plaintiff contended that the conduct of MiDA in the whole processes is ‘improper’ and wants the court to intervene to restore some sanity.

 

Source: myjoyonline