The GPCC dragged the government of Ghana to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) after an official termination in 2018, demanding compensation from the government for a breach of the contract.
The court subsequently awarded the company an amount of $170 million to be paid by Ghana. However, Ghana challenged the arbitration award in a UK court, but could not meet the deadlines to file its case citing the COVID-19 pandemic among others as reasons for the delay and according to the NDC's Communication Officer, Lawyer Sammy Gyamfi, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is displeased with the decision by the incumbent government to terminate the contract of Ghana Power Generation Company (GPGC); causing the state a whopping $170m judgement debt.
Speaking at a press conference, yesterday afternoon, Lawyer Sammy Gyamfi stated that the unlawful termination of the contract by the Akufo-Addo-led administration is a result of a complete dereliction of duty and recklessness. Sammy Gyamfi also insisted that, the government's excuses in terminating the GPGC contract are unjustifiable and sadly frivolous, as the Akufo-Addo-led government is solely responsible for the judgment debt.
“The fact shows that the $170 million debt awarded to GPGC was occasioned by the criminal negligence, complete dereliction of duty, and recklessness of the Akufo-Addo government in terminating the EPA without any lawful justification and not the signing of the agreement,” he said.
He further disclosed that the incumbent government knew that terminating the contract was wrong, “therefore those who are responsible are those who were involved in the termination of the agreement on the basis of fictitious and contrived claims when they knew the danger their actions could bring this country and not those who signed the agreement which was approved by Parliament in any case.”
“Ladies and gentlemen of the media, it is crystal clear from the foregoing facts that are contained in the arbitral award that this $170 million has been occasioned by the criminal negligence, incompetence and recklessness of the Akufo-Addo government.
“Their willful recklessness in terminating the GPGC EPA on the basis of contrived and frivolous excuses is the reason why Ghana has been slapped with this avoidable judgment debt,” he stated.
“Friends, it will surprise you to know that after the GPGC EPA was terminated and the company appealed to the government to rescind its decision, the Akufo-Addo government acting through the Minister of Energy and his deputy considered that the termination was wrong and gave the company several assurances that the President and cabinet were going to take remedial steps to reinstate the terminated EPA,” he added
The NDC has, therefore, named former Energy Minister Boakye Agyarko, the Attorney General and the President as those “jointly responsible for this $170 million financial loss to the state.”
However, days earlier before this press conference, the former Energy Minister, who has completely absolved himself of any blame or responsibility, had rather defended the government’s decision to terminate the said contract, as according to him, the country would have lost more from excess power generation if the agreement had remained.
For that reason, he insists that Ghana is “better off” with this judgement debt. “We have paid almost over $1 billion for excess capacity. The review committee estimated that the contract as they were if they were allowed to stand, the country will be paying at the end of the 13th year $7.2 billion in excess capacity charges. Now if the country is going to be saddled with $7.2 billion for excess capacity, we needed to rethink. In the PPA review, what it said was that if we could get the termination and the management of all the excess capacity, the liability that we will be faced with is about $600 million out of pocket.”
“Now $600 million in year one compared to $7.2 billion, now even if you do the next present value calculation and bring the $7.2 billion into a one-year payment, we are still better off. I don’t understand why the people whose time these excess capacity contracts were signed now have the guts and the audacity to accuse people who are trying to manage the mess they created,” Minister Boakye Agyarko had said.
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