PDS scandal: US shuts down $190m compact with ‘no immediate plans to work in Ghana again’

The Millennium Challenge Corporation has confirmed to JoyNews that despite the prevailing power crisis, it has no “immediate plans to work again in Ghana” and has completely closed Ghana’s Millennium Challenge Compact.

In March 2019, Ghana was on the verge of receiving crucial funding of some $190 million aimed at the long-term sustainability of related infrastructure investments and financial recovery of the energy sector as part of a second tranche of the MMC power compact.

However, owing to a botched 20-year concession agreement with Ghana’s Power Distribution Services (PDS), where PDS was to assume the operation and management of the staff and assets of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the US government halted the transfer of the funds, stating that private sector participation was a central reform under MCC’s Ghana Power Compact.

The U.S. Government had indicated at that time that it was looking forward to “continuing to work together with MiDA and the Government of Ghana to implement the remainder of the Power Compact”.

In the wake of Ghana’s resurging power crisis, experts have called for liquidity support for Ghana’s energy sector, which is reeling under a debt to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in excess of $1.5 billion.

The country’s Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) further revealed a worsening situation where the southern distribution company ECG was defaulting on its renegotiated fixed monthly energy purchase price of US$43 million with all the IPPs.

Commenting on whether or not the Millennium Challenge Corporation was willing to avail funding the window once again and to provide support under the compact, Alice P. Albright, the MMC Chief Executive Officer pointed out “We did have a compact with Ghana and the compact is closed” adding that fair amount of work was completed during that period.

The top executive further told JoyNews’ Blessed Sogah at the Thursday, May 9, 2024 press briefing organised by the U.S. Department of State that although she would agree to suggestions about how critical energy is to overall development of the country Ghana would not be able to able to readily get any support from the MCC.

“Right now we don’t have any immediate plans to work again in Ghana, but we can always look again to see if Ghana may be,” Alice added.

Even though Ghana may not be of immediate priority, the Millennium Challenge Corporation says it is working in a number of energy compacts across the continent to address the energy needs of Africa’s ever-growing population.


Source: Myjoyonline.com

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