Bright Simons fingers Chief of Staff’s alleged relative in “sweetened” ECG-Fidelity FX deal saga


Bright Simons, the Vice President of IMANI Africa, has made a startling revelation in his quest to expose the alleged exchange rate deals being offered to Fidelity Bank by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

According to Mr Simons, Ghanaians are suffering from erratic power supply due to such decisions taken by the ECG, which tantamounts to “financial mismanagement.”

In a recent article, Mr Simons, who has been dragged to court by the bank, highlighted a conflict of interest that could be the cause of the alleged deals being offered to Fidelity Bank.

Maataa Opare, Fidelity’s Group Head of Legal and Company Secretary, could be the bridge that has fostered these reported deals. According to Mr Simons, Maataa Opare is also a member of the board of directors of ECG.

He believes Maataa Opare is in a position where she can eat her cake and have it since she will be able to put forward proposals for the bank and have these proposals approved with her support while on the Board.

“Ms. Opare has extensive oversight over Fidelity Bank’s compliance with regulations, policies, ethics, and laws.

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“It seems to us that this represents a major entanglement between her fiduciary responsibilities at ECG to ensure that the organisation is procuring competitively, demanding high performance from vendors and bankers, and ensuring strict standards and compliance in all business relationships, on the one hand, and her role at Fidelity to negotiate the most favourable contracts and commercial arrangements. It is not possible to see how this conflict is manageable on an ongoing basis. Ms. Opare will be drafting contracts at Fidelity to extract maximum commercial advantage from ECG on Monday, and then on Tuesday, she will go to ECG and approve them?”

He further mentioned that Maataa Opare initiatives at the ECG are making headway due to her alleged association with the Chief of Staff, Frema Opare.

“On top of all this, Ms. Opare is believed to be politically exposed. Our sources say that she is a “close associate or relative” of Ms. Frema Opare, the all-powerful Chief of Staff of the Ghanaian Presidency.

“Since coming to ECG, Ms. Opare has used her close relations with the Chief of Staff to secure her patronage for her initiatives at ECG such as the ECG Power Ladies and fempower corporate activity.

“What we have now then is a powerful, politically exposed, business executive at Fidelity strategically positioned on the board of ECG, an organisation that has become noted for flouting regulatory directives and thwarting government policy,” he wrote.

Mr Simons is certain Fidelity Bank and ECG are engaged in a shady deal since the two institutions have “extensive commercial and financial dealings.”

He revealed that when ECG was asked by the Cabinet of Ghana to consolidate its bank accounts, it chose Fidelity Bank as the primary custodian of this new single account.

“Fidelity thus became ECG’s principal banker, with Fidelity bank account number 1070006628289 becoming the primary treasury node,” he added.

Presently, an audit conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has revealed significant discrepancies in its adherence to the Cash Waterfall Mechanism (CWM) established by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).

The audit, according to The Hearld, found that there were substantial disparities between the reported collections and the actual disbursements by ECG, amounting to approximately GHS3.5 billion over ECG’s CWM allocation from July 2022 to September 2023.

These findings are contrary to the requirements of the Cash Waterfall Mechanism for month-on-month analysis, as reported by The Herald.

Additionally, the audit highlighted a net difference of GHS1.9 billion between the total collections declared on the CWM-approved schedules and the inflows consolidated from the bank account statements reviewed.




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