Terpker to seek Parliament’s approval to reduce $3bn CDB loan to $1.5bn

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UNIPEC is a petrochemical subsidiary of Chinese-owned SINOPEC.

The Accounts Agreement set up the activities such as collection, debt servicing among other transactions.

‘Based on the advice from the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney General’s Department, Cabinet in June 2014, approved the government of Ghana’s capping of the facility at 1.5 billion U.S dollars and it has also recommended that the side agreements in their suitable forms should be brought to the House for consideration’, he told the Parliament.

The side agreements are signed between government and CDB to cover the funding for each project proposed for financing.

‘What this means is that government and this house [Parliament] will be called upon to take advantage of the provisions under the MFA to amend it in order that the loan facility would be reduced from $3bn to $1.5 billion’, the Finance Minister said.

The minister revealed that as at June 2014, two out of four projects under the agreement have been signed and are being financed by the facility.

‘These are the Western Corridor Gas infrastructure project ($800 million) and the ICT enhanced surveillance project for the western corridor oil and gas enclave project amounting to 150 million dollars’, adding the facility was to be disbursed under two trunches , A and B, of 1.5 million dollars each.

‘Both projects[western corridor gas infrastructure project and surveillance project] are trunch B facilities hence the status of the facility to date is that in the trunch A there has been no activity and the trunch B which is 1.5 billion, the total amount disbursed is 597.3 million, total amount disbursed in 2014 is 20.8 million dollars and the total number of projects underway are two’, he explained.

According to the Minister, the total amount of additional projects that CDB has agreed to sign are the coastal fishing and landing sites, and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly Intelligent traffic light management.

The CDB loan has been a source of concern for some economists after delays by China to release funds for the earmarked projects.

The Minority has for instance asked government to pull the plugs on the loan facility since the terms of the loan were not in favour of the country.

They made the call at a press conference on the state of the economy after the Senchi forum last month.

Also, think tank, IMANI Ghana has doubted government’s ability to satisfy the credit requirements on the loan in the short-term. IMANI had predicted that “the maximum facility available to Ghana shall not exceed $1 billion over the timeframe of 2012 -2013. And even this $1 billion shall not come on a silver platter.” Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | George Nyavor | [email protected]

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