Statement: VTB Capital loan deal, another fiasco? Minority asks

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To add insult to injury, the good people of Ghana are being asked to pay upfront fees of 1.85% or $5.5m and Management fees of 2% or $6m. Who gets the Management fees? Are we paying VTB for managing its own loan portfolio? Or is it the case that VTB is going to pay some other party to manage its portfolio? If it is the former, one should raise a red flag as it arouses suspicions. If it is the latter, it would simply mean that VTB is incompetent to manage its own portfolio. Either way this country must smell a rat, or an umbrella under which people who are engaged in various improprieties are taking a refuge. The Upfront fees, the Management fee and the 7% markup on LIBOR all smack of a dubious transaction.

Finally, the Ministry itself asked the AG to give an opinion in respect of the loan agreement. The AG raised serious issues in a letter dated April 1, 2014. The AG had concerns with the purpose letter, which incidentally was not furnished to it to enable her office to study its contents in conjunction with the entire loan agreement. The AG also noted that this was a departure from usual financing agreements where the Lender monitored activities of the Borrower to ensure proceeds of the loan were rightly used. These are but a few of the AG’s concerns. All of them, sad to say, were ignored.

In presenting the Budget Statement and Economic Policy for the 2U14 Financial year, the Finance Minister assured that the country was not going to contract new loans. Indeed he re­emphasised the point in March when he appeared before Parliament to present an urgent statement on the government’s financial and Economic Policy in the face of shivering economic indicators. Clearly, the Minister never meant his words when he said Government was not going to contract any new loans. For it was on that very day in March 2014, less than 30 minutes after that bold declaration that he made a, volte-farce and submitted a request for the $300 million VTB facility. It looks as if phrases such as “due diligence”, “value for money” “Ghana First”, “for God and Country” do not mean anything to this government. That explains why the country finds itself in such labyrinth.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, the profile of the VTB loan facility is simply not good and it is the reason why the Minority NPP in Parliament washed our hands off the loan. It is simply one bogus loan too many, and once again we raise these alarm bells for the country to know that it is such unscanned procurements that have landed the country in the mess that we find ourselves today. When will the brakes of circumspection and introspection be applied to unfettered borrowing by the NDC? Ghanaians should demand a response.

In the light of the government’s decision to seek a bail-out from the IMF we call on government to abandon the chase for the VTB facility to avoid Ghana also being sanctioned by the EU and the US.

Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen for your prompt response. 

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