John Jinapor Questions MCC Deal Renegotiation

The disclosure by President Nana Akufo-Addo that the government of Ghana has been able to renegotiate the Millennium Challenge Corporation's Private Sector Participation (PSP) Compact with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) calls for “clarity” given nothing was tabled by the executive before parliament for the green light to be given for such renegotiation, former Deputy Power Minister John Jinapor has said.

According to him, prior to the original agreement between the government of Ghana and the MCC being signed, it was taken to the legislature, which asked for some amendments to be made before it was signed by then President John Mahama. However, according to Mr Jinapor, if, indeed, claims of a renegotiation are true, it would be surprising since parliament is unaware of such a development.

Mr Jinapor’s comments come after Mr Akufo-Addo, addressing workers at the May Day parade at the Independence Square on Monday, disclosed that in addition to ensuring that more than half of the concession would be in Ghanaian hands, the government had been able to negotiate the duration of the concession to 20 years, from the initial 25.

But speaking on Ghana Yensom on Accra100.5FM, the Yapei Kusawgu MP stated: “I am asking that what agreement is the president saying they have reviewed? Because if you take an agreement to parliament and get it approved, if you are reviewing or renegotiating the agreement you will have to take it back to parliament for approval. As I speak with you we haven’t completed and approved any renegotiated agreement. I am surprised the president said that.”

He added that contrary to claims by the President that 51% of ECG management will be in Ghanaian hands, other reports were quoting 59%. “So we need clarity. Is it true they have renegotiated? Is it true the MCC has accepted it?” Mr Jinapor asked, saying the president may not have been “briefed well” on the deal.

Mr Jinapor was also at a loss over the President’s claim that his government had successfully negotiated the deal’s duration down to 20 years from the original 25 as the agreement allows for Ghana to opt out of the concession after a decade.

“The first 10 years is the most important thing. After 10 years, if we are not satisfied with it, we are at liberty not to renew the concession. And if it is satisfactory you can even keep it for 100 years. So, that 20, 25 years talk, in my opinion, is neither here nor there. The most important thing is that after the first five years, we conduct an initial review. After 10 years we do a major review. If after the review we are dissatisfied we are free to discontinue it,” clarified Mr Jinapor.