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Ghana terminates concession deal with Meralco-led power distributor

 The Government of Ghana has terminated the concession agreement with a power distribution utility led by Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on allegations of “material breaches.”

Meralco said it received information that the operation and maintenance concession deal covering the assets of Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has been terminated, the Philippines’ largest power distribution company, according to a regulatory filing submitted by Corporate Governance and Compliance head Jocelyn Villar-Altamira on Tuesday.

The concession was awarded to Power Distribution Services Ghana Ltd. (PDS) only last March.

PDS is a consortium of Meralco, through subsidiary Meridian Vetures Ltd., Angolan firm AEnergia SA, and three Ghanaian firms TG Energy Solution Ghana, GTS Engineering Ghana Ltd., and TBK Ghana Ltd.

Meralco controls 30% of PDS, while AEnergia SA has a 19% stake in the company and TG Energy Solution Ghana has 18%. GTS Engineering Ghana and TBK Ghana each hold a 10% interest in PDS.

The termination was principally due to alleged material breaches in the provision of demand guarantees by PDS.

“Based on the letter signed by Minister Ken Ofori-Atta of the Ministry of Finance of Ghana, the forensic audit by the auditors chosen by the Millenium Development Authority indicated that the purported demand guarantees were issued without due authorization and in excess of the mandate of Al Koot Insurance and Reinsurance, Qatari insurance firm, and were therefore invalid,” Meralco said.

The demand guarantees were key prerequisites and condition for ECG to turnover its assets and facilities to PDS.

“The same report also mentioned that there was no information available to forensic auditors to suggest that PDS committed fraud in relation to the demand guarantees,” Meralco noted.

PDS said it procured the demand guarantees in good faith and that it knew of no issue regarding the transaction until the concession was suspended.

PDS was planning to invest more than $580 million in capital expenditures to operate and manage ECG and improve the delivery of power services in Ghana, Meralco earlier said. —Ted Cordero/GMA News

Car crash kills 6, injures 12 in Ghana

A car crash on Monday left six people dead and 12 injured on a highway, about 94 km from Ghana’s capital Accra.

An eye witness said that an overloaded bus traveling from Accra to Kumasi was trying to overtake the other vehicles, and ended up colliding with a truck loaded with cement.

The injured were sent to three hospitals for treatment in a timely manner.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

More than 20 killed in Ghana floods

At least 28 people have been killed and several others injured following eight days of torrential rains in north-eastern Ghana.

More than 1,000 houses have been destroyed and several people have been displaced.

Authorities fear the casualty figures could rise.

The country’s National Disaster Management Organisation has started supplying relief items to the victims.

“The latest situational report indicates that 28 people have lost their lives in the Upper East region of the republic of Ghana. The rains are still ongoing. We have about 140 people displaced,” the agency’s spokesman George Ayisi said on Wednesday.

The displaced people are sheltering in churches and schools.

Ghana’s meteorological department has predicted more rains across the country in the coming weeks and has warned of the possibility of more flooding.

Relief organisations have appealed for more support for those affected.

Nigerian emerges best graduating student in Ghana

A Nigerian, Agaranwa Pal Ezinne, has emerged the overall best graduating female student with a First Class Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology from the Accra Institute of Technology, Ghana.
Agaranya, who was part of the graduation class of 2019, beat her colleagues with a cumulative GPA of 3.97.
The 14th graduation ceremony was the fifth time a Nigerian student would emerge as the overall best graduating student of the university both in the female and male categories.

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