Pressure group want more details of Ghana-China deal

Business News of Saturday, 15 July 2017



KwakuKwartengKwaku Kwarteng, Deputy Finance Minister

A pressure group calling itself the Young Democrats for Good Governance, has asked government to make public all documents relating to the nearly 19 billion dollar deal with China.

This they say will ensure that the country is not short-changed in any of the arrangements.

Speaking to Citi News, Spokesperson for the Group, Dr. Martin Luther asked government to come clean.

“From our research, I have come to a conclusion that the government is going for a loan and the bauxite of Ghana is going to be used as guarantee. Whatever the Vice President is saying, whatever the Minister is saying, they are just words. But the fact is that, whatever you put out is subject to analysis.”

Though government has indicated that it will use the loan to leverage Ghana’s resources specifically bauxite, some stakeholders have lambasted government for the move, describing it as “frightening, scary and reckless” especially when the Vice President had criticized the Mahama administration for contracting a much lesser amount.

The MP for Bolgantanga Central, Isaac Adongo for instance argues that the situation will worsen Ghana’s debt status which could seriously affect the country’s economic growth and development.

But the Deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng has discounted the claims, saying the government believes that conditions for the arrangement were appropriate.

He said although the modalities for the disbursement of the funds were yet to be drawn, the government is working to ensure that the interest of Ghanaians remain paramount.

Kwaku Kwarteng further discounted claims that the NPP government will exceed its debt to GDP target.

He said the government will be responsible for ensuring the country’s debt sustainability is within acceptable limits.

“It is not as though we said one thing to parliament and we are doing something different. Let’s not anyone suggest we said we will not borrow. I think the minority’s concern is a legitimate concern,” he said.

He, however, said it was premature for the minority to raise concerns about the facility, since the modalities and other details for the release of the funds are yet to be drawn.

China’s Eximbank in 2012, agreed a $3bn facility to the previous Mills and Mahama governments, but only $1bn was released after years of back and forth between the two countries.

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