Energy think tank petitions Special Prosecutor over ECG’s $36m electric metres procurement

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    A think-tank, Institute for Energy Policies and Research (INSTEPR), has petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor to probe the circumstances surrounding the purchase of some electricity metres by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

    In an earlier press release, the institute questioned the procurement, which amounted to $36 million in 2016.

    INSTEPR described the development which was uncovered in the Auditor-General’s 2020 report as fraudulent.

    According to the think tank, the report shows that “key appointees within the NDC government in 2015/16 planned this transaction to defraud the State through the acquisition of Electric meters for ECG.”

    It is on the back of this that they have submitted “these reports to the Office of the Special Prosecutor to investigate and prosecute this former government appointee and their accomplice.”

    Executive Director for INSTEPR, Kwadwo Poku, hopes that the move goes a long way to instil some level of oversight in the energy sector because “the Energy sector has become an area where people entrusted with the finances of this country, seem to siphon Millions of cedis of state money into private accounts.”

    “We have come across numerous questionable payments totalling over ¢112,596,555.88 to a Company called First Grace Limited within 20015 and 2016. There is also a payment of ¢238,633,370.61 paid out to 21 companies through a government agency, for whom these companies have done no work or engaged Ina contract,” the August 24, statement read.

    INSTEPR findings

    According to INSTEPR, the Ministry of Power (Ministry of Energy) through the Ministry of Finance in 2016 made a payment of $36 million to L & R Investment and Trading Company Limited and its local partners in Ghana, Messrs L & R Investment and First Grace Limited for the supply of single-phase and three-phase electric meters to ECG.

    The total contract price for the supply of these metres were $39,999,566.44, to be supplied over a period of 26 weeks.

    When the contract was signed, an advanced payment of $12 million was paid to L & R Investments plus a Letter of Credit (LC) of $24 million.

    Per the contract signed between the Ministry of Power and L & R Investments, the electric meters were to meet certain specifications and standards before shipment to Ghana.

    L & R Investments reportedly failed to manufacture the devices per the specifications and standards. The company, however, shipped the electric meters to Ghana.

    The electric meters, INSTEPR notes, are now locked up in the warehouse of the ECG due to the fact that the meters were not produced to specifications.