Business News of Thursday, 13 July 2017
The Institute of Chartered Economists, Ghana (ICEG) has urged the government to make a full disclosure of the details of the $19 billion loan facility from China in the interest of the country’s future.
It particularly wants the contract between the China Railway Group and Ghana to be laid before Parliament for perusal to be sure of what it entails.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ICEG, Mr Gideon Amissah, said even though the facility had the potential to boost the local economy by creating employment opportunities and increasing foreign exchange reserve, it was important for due diligence to be followed in order to benefit the country.
“We know that there is the need for respect of confidentiality in some of these deals but since the Chinese deal borders on the future of Ghana, it must be presented to Parliament so that we will know what is in it,” he said.
Mr Amissah observed that since the facility included the extraction of bauxite, it was important to consider the welfare of Ghanaians in the whole deal.
“The fact that five per cent of our bauxite is at the centre of the facility means that we need to do due diligence to be sure that our environment, including forests, water bodies and farmlands will not be destroyed,” he stressed.
He observed that if the right processes were followed, the loan could cause a major turnaround for the country.
The CEO added that the fact that part of the $19 billion facility would be made available to the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to facilitate the one-district, one-factory initiative by government was refreshing.
He said what was required was for the facility to be released timely and also put to good use to generate employment for the teeming unemployed youth.
Mr Amissah observed further that the time was ripe for the government to begin to implement its economic policies and projects.
He said any further delay in implementing the initiatives could erode the confidence the citizens have in the government.