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PDS deal: MiDA shifting blame to Bawumia – ACEP suspects ‘mischief’

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PDS deal: MiDA shifting blame to Bawumia - ACEP suspects 'mischief'

Transaction advisors in a concession agreement with energy company, Power Distribution Services (PDS) have been accused of shifting blame after controversy gutted the agreement.

In the controversy, Power Distribution Services (PDS) have been found to lack the financial capacity to provide $12.5m in guarantees when they took over ECG management in March 2019.

PDS has been suspended. But the agreement to provide demand guarantees has been now downgraded to insurance guarantees.

Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) who are the transaction advisors commissioned an investigation into the PDS deal.

In its report, it mentions a meeting in the Office of the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia attended by top government officials including Finance and Energy ministers and the Chief of Staff.

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It was at this meeting that the decision was taken to convert payment guarantees to insurance guarantees.

ACEP Executive Director Ben Boakye wants to know the position of the transaction advisors on that decision.

“They cannot sit aloof and say that we didn’t do anything,” he said on JoyNews late evening program, PM Express.

Ben Boakye noted that several sources have pointed to pressure from MIDA and IFC to push through the PDS agreement.

But in the report, the energy expert said he observed that there was “a very crafty attempt to exonerate the transaction advisors and start pointing fingers at some people.”

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The ACEP Executive Director said his checks show MiDA no longer publishes minutes of Board meeting since the controversy began.

Before that, the transaction advisor regularly did so, he said. “We want to see what advice they gave to the government”, he pushed for the publication of the minutes.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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Lumba and I didn’t break up over a woman – Nana Acheampong

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Lumba and I didn’t break up over a woman – Nana Acheampong

One of the originators of ‘Burger Highlife’, Nana Acheampong has discounted claims that he split with his other half-brother, Daddy Lumba over a woman.

Following the decision by both musicians who formed the famous Lumba Brothers to go solo, there were reports their division was fueled by a woman both were chasing.

But reacting to it for the first time on Kumasi-based Pure FM monitored by MyNewsGh.com, the musician stated unequivocally that it was neither because of a woman nor money but a collective decision arrived at.

“After coming out with songs for a couple of times and playing for almost 10 years, he moved from where we stayed in Germany to another place called Oldenburg and the distance was quite far. He was unable to be coming for regular rehearsals”, he revealed to host Hammer.

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Though their fans were not too happy over the split, he insisted that it was not because of money nor a woman but a development that led to them producing more music for the country.

He admitted both are good at writing songs and pray that they will continue to be inspired to do more and produce good songs for their fans.

Source: mynewsgh.com

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Mahama increased electricity tariff by 166%, NPP decreased by 5% – Bawumia

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Mahama increased electricity tariff by 166%, NPP decreased by 5% – Bawumia

The National Democratic Congress, during the Mahama administration, cumulatively increased electricity tariff by 166%, Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said.

On the back of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission’s recent hike in power and water tariffs by 5.94 per cent and 2.22 per cent, respectively, Dr Bawumia said at the launch of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) Auditorium at the University of Ghana (UG) on Wednesday, 2 October 2019 that: “Between 2013 and 2016, just the last four years of the NDC government, the cumulative increase in electricity tariff was 166%”.

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Dr Bawumia said that in line with the Akufo-Addo government’s agenda to create jobs, the administration has embarked on moves to cut electricity tariff to spur more employment.

According to him, “In 2018, we [NPP] reduced electricity prices of businesses by 30% and for households by 17.5 %, an average of around 22%.”

“Earlier this year in July, there was an increase of electricity price of 11% and yesterday of 5.6%. When you take the total cumulative increase on average, as I said, between 2017 and today, you have a cumulative decrease of about 5%”.

He continued: “So, the NDC, in their last four years, increased [electricity tariff] by 166%, we have come down since we have been in government by 5% on average”.

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This, Dr Bawumia said, far outweighs the performance of the Mahama administration.

Comparatively, he said it is “still ‘boot for charley-wote’ when you come to electricity pricing”.

Source: classfmonline.com

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Brother of deposed Algerian leader sentenced to 15 years

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Brother of deposed Algerian leader sentenced to 15 years

The brother of Algeria’s deposed former president has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiring against the state and undermining the military.

Said Bouteflika was widely seen as the real power behind the presidency after his brother, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, suffered a stroke in 2013.

Two former secret service chiefs and a political party head were also sentenced after the two-day trial.

President Bouteflika was ousted in April following pro-democracy protests.

The defendants were detained in May during a wave of arrests targeting the former president’s inner circle.

The ailing ex-leader is in a residence west of Algiers, and is not expected to face trial.

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The current authorities in Algeria have promised to crack down on what the call “the gang” that used to surround President Bouteflika and bring them to justice, the BBC’s Ahmed Rouaba says.

This trial is designed to show that the government is serious about fighting what it says is corruption at the highest level of the state, our reporter adds.

What were the allegations?

The charges related to an alleged meeting between Said Bouteflika and his co-defendants in March.

He was accused of conspiring with two secret service leaders, Gen Mohamed Mediene and Gen Athmane Tartag, and the head of The Workers’ Party, Louisa Hanoune.

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They were said to be considering declaring a state of emergency and firing the army chief, Gen Ahmed Gaid Salah, as protests against the president were mounting.

Who is now in charge?

Gen Salah remains the head of the armed forces and is considered to be the most powerful man in the country, but the speaker of parliament’s upper house, Abdelkader Bensalah, is the interim president.

Both men are tainted by an association with the former government.

Nevertheless, they say they are committed to dealing with alleged corruption under President Bouteflika.

Several former cabinet ministers, political leaders and businessmen linked to the ousted leader have also been detained.

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Despite this crackdown, the authorities have not been able to hold a presidential election that would pave the way to the return of constitutional rule.

Protesters, who are still taking to the streets every Friday, have rejected elections under the current government, and are calling for the removal of all officials associated with the Bouteflika regime.

Source: bbc.com

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