General News of Saturday, 24 March 2018
A Financial analyst, Joe Jackson, has said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) led government should be lauded for bringing the military agreement between Ghana and the United States of America into the public domain.
According to him, unlike the two previous agreements entered in 1998 and 2015 by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration which were not made transparent, Ghanaians have had the opportunity to scrutinise the current agreement due to the transparent manner it has been handled.
Ghana’s parliament has approved the military agreement. Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye said after the approval on Friday, 23 March 2018 that the “House adopts the report from the joint committee on defence and interior.”
The approval of the agreement was done by only the majority side of parliament with the minority staging a walkout.
As part of the agreement, the United States (US) government will be spending $20 million in training and supplying equipment for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the US Embassy in Ghana, has said.
It also indicated that Ghana has also agreed to bear the cost and take primary responsibility for securing US military facilities in the country.
According to the contract, Ghana has granted US contractors tax exemption. Sources say the negotiation started in 2017 but was approved on Thursday, 8 March 2018.
Commenting on this development on TV3’s New Day on Saturday 24 March 2018, Mr Jackosn said: “At least we have to give credit to the NPP for bringing this agreement into the open.”
He further criticised the minority for walking out from parliament during the approval of the deal.
“I have voted for you to represent my interest and so if you walk out how do you protect my interest? This back and forth shows hypocrisy in the system.
“…There is a legitimate concern about the deal and we cannot sweep the issues under the carpet but unfortunately those who are there to defend us walked out.”