In a statement signed by both companies, they agreed that PDS should carry on with “all activities related to electricity retail sale.”

The statement was signed by Ing. Samuel Boakye-Appiah, MD of ECG and Rev. Ing William Hutton-Mensah and CEO of PDS.

The statement said PDS will be responsible for meter reading, billing, distribution of bills, bill reconciliation, revenue collection, and new service connections.

PDS will also undertake disconnection exercises, replacement of faulty meters and networks, repair works as well as attend to complaints and fault reporting to the call centres.

“In light of the above, all payments and other related activities shall continue to take place at PDS Regional and District offices, PDS existing Customer Service Centres, PDS licensed vending stations, PDS operated Cash Points and banks,” the statement added.

The statement indicated that the arrangement “shall be in force from the 8th of August, 2019, until a reversal or otherwise by the Energy Commission.”

Government suspends PDS concession

On July 30, 2019, the government of Ghana suspended a concession agreement with PDS for distribution of power in Ghana. According to the government, the suspension was due to the discovery “of fundamental and material breaches of PDS’ obligation in the provision of Payment Securities (Demand Guarantees).”

The government later said that it had launched a full-scale inquiry into the breaches and also set up a committee made up of experts comprising insurance investigation, officials of the Energy and Finance ministries, and officials of the ECG and MIDA. The committee has 30 days to complete the probe.

Finance Ministry’s directive

The Finance Ministry issued a directive for ECG to assume oversight responsibility of movement of funds to and from all accounts operated by PDS.

“The Ministry of Finance is currently facilitating the de-freezing of PDS accounts to ensure that there are funds to support the day-to-day operations,” the Finance Ministry stated in an earlier letter to PDS, ECG and other sector agencies.

The Finance Ministry also said that “PDS will continue to operate their existing bank accounts. PDS must lodge all cash and cheque collections into the bank accounts intact. No staff of PDS is permitted to keep any cash/cheque collected.”

PDS must also provide ECG with detailed revenue collection and expenditure reports every week and the relevant bank statements “to support same at the close of business daily. ECG must approve all payments, transfers, and disbursement of funds from the PDS bank accounts before they are effected.”

“ECG must on a daily basis be furnished [by PDS] with details of outflows from the revenue accounts,” the letter added.