General News of Saturday, 21 February 2015
Source: Graphic Online
Parliament has summoned the Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper, to appear before the House to explain the terms of the agreement between the Electricity Company of Ghana and Karpowership Company (Ghana) Ltd for the supply of 450 megawatts of power.
A guarantee for the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) has been provided by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
Parliament issued the summons after the Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, called on Parliament to probe the agreement.
He said the $100 million government guarantee for the $50m agreement needed parliamentary scrutiny and approval in accordance with Article 181 (5) and (6) of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 181(5) of the constitution states that: “This article shall, with the necessary modifications by Parliament, apply to an international business or economic transaction to which the government is a party as it applies to a loan.”
Article 181 (6) states: “For the purpose of this article ‘loan’ includes any moneys lent or given to or by the government on condition of return or repayment, and any other form of borrowing or lending in respect of which (a) moneys from the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund may be used for payment or repayment and (b) moneys from any fund by whatever name called, established for the purposes of payment or repayment whether directly or indirectly, may be used for payment or repayment.
Mr Afenyo-Markin said the government guarantee given without parliamentary scrutiny made the entire deal unconstitutional.
The First Deputy Speaker, Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, who presided over proceedings at the time, directed that the Minister of Finance be invited to brief the House on the contents of the agreement and make copies of it available to the House for members’ perusal.
He directed the Business Committee of the House to fix a date and invite the minister to brief the House.