Govt lays six loan agreements before Parliament

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta yesterday laid six financial agreements in Parliament after the house was recalled for a 5-day sitting.

The financial agreements are;  $40million financing agreement between government of Ghana (GoG) and International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group to finance the proposed Tourism Development Project,   $50million from the same institution  to finance the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP), and a waiver request on Import Duties, Import VAT, Import NHIL, ECOWAS Levy, EXIM Levy, Special Import Levy amounting to $2.872.985.00 on project materials and equipment to be imported for the construction of the Advanced Research Center for Infectious Diseases at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) University of Ghana.

The rests are; a $35million financing agreement between GoG and IDA of the World Bank Group to finance the proposed Public Sector Reform for Results Project (PSRRP), $95,450,000.00 Suppliers Credit Agreement between GoG and that of Brazil to finance the Establishment and Strengthening of Agricultural Mechanisation Service Centres (AMSECs) and $14,917,315.96million contract agreement between GoG, represented by NMIMR and Shimizu Corporation of Japan for the construction of the  Advanced Research Center for Infectious Diseases.

Speaking to the media after laying the agreements, Mr Ofori Atta said the government expects the agreements to be approved by parliament before it rises in four days.

“I don’t think there is anything really mysterious about all of these things that we are doing. So I expect that they should be approved,” he reiterated.

However, the Minority, thinks otherwise saying the four days period given to go through the agreement is not enough time to enable the house to do  due diligence to be conducted on the agreements.

“Definitely not enough time,” said Mr Fiifi Kwetey a former Deputy Finance Minister.

That notwithstanding, he said “we must appreciate that this is not completely new when it comes to parliamentary work. Having been in government myself, I’m quite aware often times there are moments like that where we effectively have to call on parliament to do extra work in terms of going through a lot of these agreements and go through quickly.”

“Clearly, that’s quite a lot to go through quickly. But if that’s what we are being recalled for we have really no option but to want to go through,” he added.

“If there are of course in going through,” he continued “issues that we feel require a longer time then, of course, we will raise some of those issues even if the majority is not minded to come along, we will raise them and come on the floor and make the people of Ghana know why we are unable to go ahead with some of them.”


Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

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