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.