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PDS saga: ‘We will concentrate on other projects under MCC agreement’ – US Embassy

Naomi Mattos, Press Attaché at the United States Embassy in Ghana

Press Attaché at the United States Embassy, Naomi Mattos, has assured that the United States Government along with the Government of Ghana will concentrate on other projects under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement despite the recent Power Distribution Services (PDS) fiasco.

Speaking on JoyNews, Naomi Mattos noted that “The United States Government will now concentrate on how the US$308 million under the MCC arrangement will be expended to improve the country’s energy sector.”

U.S Embassy justifies its insistence on Ghana keeping PDS deal

According to her, the cancellation of the second trench disbursement of US$190 million funds under the MCC agreement “was not an ultimatum by the United States Government to Ghana.”

“The US Government together with the Government of Ghana sat down to find an amendable solution and since 2014, the US$190 million was hinged upon a successful concession and since the government decided to terminate the concession, by that agreement, we had to pull back on the US$190 million and there was no ultimatum or pressure.”

Mattos insisted that the botched PDS deal by government was valid despite the claims it lacked certain demand guarantees.

“We believe that the concession was valid and that the transfer was valid on March 1st 2019 and the independent forensic audit found that that transfer was valid so we stuck with that take on the matter.”

“The independent forensic audit stated that the concession was valid so we chose to go with what the independent audit, we wanted to move forward with this very important concession,” she added.

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Government on Thursday October 24 announced that the Electricity Company of Ghana Limited (ECG) will assume full operational and financial control of the electricity distribution after government made the decision to terminate its concessionaire agreement with Power Distribution Services (PDS) after a careful review of demand guarantees.

The US decision to terminate the second trench of Compact 2 funds

In a statement issued by the US Embassy on Wednesday, October 23 noted that the “United States of America notes this decision [termination of the PDS contract] with regret based on the conclusions of the independent forensic investigation, the U.S. position is that the transfer of operations, maintenance, and management of ECG to the PDS on March 1, 2019, was valid, and therefore the termination was unwarranted”

“As such, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has confirmed that the US$190 million funds granted to Ghana at the March 1 transfer to the 20-year concession from ECG to PDS are no longer available,” the statement added.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com