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22 September 2016

A-G to explain controversial clause in Millennium Compact II agreement

attoney-genAttorney-General (A-G), Marietta Brew Appiah-Opong, is expected to explain a contentious clause in the Millennium Challenge Compact II agreement that could affect the function of the PURC.

She must clarify if the tariff fixing function of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) would be affected by the agreement.

The controversial provision states that;

“The Government will proceed in a timely manner to complete all of its domestic requirements for this Compact to enter into force. The Parties understand that this Compact and the PIA, upon entry into force, will prevail over the domestic laws of Ghana.”

It forms part of an agreement between Ghana and US governments that will see the handing-over of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to a private concessionaire to improve the efficiency of power distribution in Ghana.

PURC had demanded interpretation of that portion which it believes could hamper its constitutionally mandated function of setting electricity prices in the country.

Director of Public Affairs at PURC, Nana Yaa Jantuah, told Joy News on September 15 that it would be prudent the A-G is courted to explain the provision.

“We all need an interpretation of Article 7.1 [of the MiDA Compact II]…we also need to find out the spirit behind 7.1. It is not clear to everybody.”

Commenting on the issue, Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor, says the A-G will put to rest all forms of misunderstanding when she completes her work.

“The A-G is the legal advisor of government and since it is just an issue the PURC has raised [because] they are not satisfied. It would be done for them,” he said.

He explained it is a routine for the Power Ministry that anytime they are faced with legal issues the A-G is brought on board to clarify those issues and this would not be different.

“We are a policy making ministry and deal with the technical aspect of the contract [but] it is too premature to draw the conclusion the provision will affect the work of PURC” he said.

 

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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