The minority spokesperson on Finance, Anthony Akoto Osei has cast doubts about Ghana’s ability to access the second compact of the Millennium Challenge Account.
President John Mahama and US Secretary of State, John Kerry last Tuesday signed The compact worth $498,200,000 that will be used to improve power distribution in the country.
It is the second compact after Ghana successfully completed the first which was worth $547million.
“This new Compact with the MCC demonstrates the growing cooperation between Ghana and the USA. It will benefit millions of our people and contribute immensely to the achievement of my ‘Energy For All’ objective,” the president said at the colourful signing ceremony.
But the Member of Parliament for Old Tafo and former minister of state under the erstwhile Kufour administration, Anthony Akoto Osei says he will not be surprised if Ghana is unable to access the second compact.
He told Joy News’ Elton John Brobbey that given the conditionalities that have to be met before the compact is disbursed, he would be surprised if Ghana were to access it anytime soon.
Part of the conditionality is for Ghana to reform the energy sector and partially privatize it. The government is also expected to pay off all debts owed to the Electricity Company of Ghana.
But Akoto Osei said it would be “extremely difficult” for government to carry out these conditionalities in the short term to be able to access the MCC.
According to him, the reforms in the energy sector began in 1999 but nothing substantial has been achieved in 15 years.
“The conditionalities are such that i will be surprised if the grant will come. So don’t say if we did not tell you so. We are being asked to reform in the energy sector which is the difficult reform anybody can do,” he stated.
He does not know how these reforms will be concluded in 18 months for Ghana to receive the grant.
If anything, the Old Tafo MP believes Ghana can only be able to access the grant from the second compact in the next three to five years.
The Compact is the US government’s initiative to assist struggling economies to develop their agricultural, energy and other key sectors.
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