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National Interest Movement: Probe into GPGC judgment debt must be non-partisan

A commercial court in London rejected a late appeal from Ghana against a judgment debt award of US$134 million in favour of GPGC

The National Interest Movement, a think tank, is calling for a non-partisan probe into the circumstances leading to the award of a judgment debt against the Government of Ghana in connection with its power purchase agreement with the Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC).

The call comes on the back of the rejection by the commercial court in London of a late appeal from Ghana against a judgment debt award of US$134 million in favour of the power contractor, Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC).

Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show with Kojo Mensah today (Wednesday 23 June 2021) about the court’s ruling, the executive secretary of the National Interest Movement, Susan Adu-Amankwah, said those found culpable must be made to pay for their mistake.

“There may be several people responsible. I agree there should be an investigation so that we can clearly know where we went wrong, what was done and ensure that it doesn’t happen again. We need that lesson,” she said.

Adu-Amankwah added: “We don’t want an investigation that is just targeting certain persons or certain people. Like I said before, right from the very beginning [the agreement] was fraught with problems. We should start from there and [examine] each step of the way and ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

She said the scope of the investigations should be broad enough to ensure similar mistakes are not made by the current and successive governments.

“What I’m interested in is also the scope of the investigations, because you can call for an investigation and the scope will be such that you will not get the kind of feedback that informs our decisions going forward.”

GPGC agreement was needless

Meanwhile, Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, has said the erstwhile National Democratic Congress government’s power purchase agreement with Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC) was needless.

Speaking with Nana Yaa Mensah, also on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Wednesday (23 June), Dame said those who signed the original power purchase agreement will have to answer questions.

“Those who committed to this agreement, with all respect, have to answer certain questions because first and foremost the agreement was entered into in circumstances where there was no need for such an agreement,” he said.

Dame added, “And I say so on the account of the report of the committee set up in the NDC time itself …”

The power purchase agreement was signed in 2015 by the NDC government at the peak of the power crisis (“dumsor”) under the Mahama-led government.

Background 

The International Court of Arbitration in January 2021 awarded costs of US$134 million and interest of US$30 million against the Government of Ghana over its cancellation of an emergency power agreement with GPGC Ltd.

The contract was cancelled during the tenure of the former energy minister Boakye Agyarko, one of several deals scrapped by the new NPP government on the basis that the country did not need these power agreements.

The ruling by the International Court of Arbitration ordered the Government to Ghana to pay to “GPGC the full value of the early termination payment, together with mobilisation, demobilisation and preservation and maintenance costs in the amount of US$134,348,661, together also with interest thereon from 12 November 2018 until the date of payment, accruing daily and compounded monthly, at the rate of LIBOR for six-month US dollar deposits plus 6%”.

The Government of Ghana was also ordered to pay GPGC, in total, “US$ 309,877.74 in respect of the costs of the arbitration, together with US$3,000,000 in respect of GPGC’s legal representation and the fees and expenses of its expert witness, together with interest on the aggregate amount of US$3,309,877.74 at the rate of LIBOR for three-month US dollar deposits, compounded quarterly”.

Fred Dzakpata

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
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