Business News of Friday, 14 July 2017
The Chinese government has agreed to offer $7.5million aid to tool the Ghana Armed Forces.
The agreement in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Sun Baohong for her country while Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul initialled for Ghana. The ceremony took place at the Ministry of Defense.
The Minister told Joy News’ Maxwell Agbagba, the fresh help is one of many fruits from the Vice-President’s 4-day state visit to China last June.
Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia and Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao
China-Ghana technical assistance has seen strenghtening in recent years. The very building where the MoU was signed was built by the Chinese government in 2008 with a $5m grant.
The Asian powerhouse also built the Ministry of Foreign Affairs containing 141 offices for $16 million in 2012 with a promise to install furniture, equipment and office supplies free of charge.
Revealing more Chinese freebies, the Minister said government is also expecting patrol boats from the Sino-powerhouse to bolster naval security.
He said it was the Vice-President who reminded China of a 2016 pledge to give the needy West African country boats. China in 2016 signed an MoU to give Ghana four patrol boats with spare parts and four vehicle-mounted machine guns.
“They decided to fulfil a pledge they made to Ghana last year to give us patrol boats,” Mr. Nitiwul indicated.
To this end, six Chinese instructors will also be on hand to train Ghanaian personnel to use the boats, he said.
China’s socio-economic partnership to Ghana is reaching historic levels. Ghana has signed an MoU to bag $15bn to fund government’s ambitious development agenda.
The Minister used the opportunity to dispel public suspicion that China’s largesse may have a political price. Ghana has been battling a swarm of unauthorised foreign nationals digging deep in water bodies and on land for precious minerals.
There is an ongoing trial of a Chinese national Aisha Huang, a suspected kingpin in illegal mining in the Ashanti Region.
The Minister stressed the gifts from the world superpower will not compromise Ghana’s fight against illegal mining.
“Our laws are our laws” the Minister who is also the Bimbilla MP said. Dominic Nitiwul wants Ghanaians not to see the fight against ‘galamsey’ as a target against China.
“Nobody is fighting another group of people,” he said pointing out that Ukrainians, Russians and other West Africans have been fingered in the illegal mining menace.