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Mahama Piles More Loans On Ghanaians   
 
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01-Nov-2016  
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With barely two months to end the Mahama-led administration’s term of office, Ghanaians are being burdened with more loans.

The legislative arm of the government of the Republic of Ghana, yesterday, gave the Ministry of Finance the go ahead to collect about five separate loans and a waiver for different purposes.

The loans, as the ministry would want the taxpayer to understand, are to assist the government to undertake developmental projects in and around the country, but the Minority thought otherwise. According to the Minority, it was been too much on the part the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), in terms of loans.

The Minority raised issues about the state of the economy, and the fact that the country, currently, is on preparation to yet crucial polls later this year.

Meanwhile, on the floor of Parliament yesterday, a Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson, stepping in the shoes of his boss, the Finance Minister, Mr. Seth Terkper, moved motions for loans which had already been debated to be adopted by the House, upon which the House did.
Parliament gave the nod to the Ministry of Finance to proceed for a loan amount of US$83,400,000 million for the Accra Urban Transport Project (AUTP).

The loan agreement was between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the African Development Fund (ADF), for the amount, not exceeding the equivalent of sixty million units of account (UA 60,000,000) the equivalent of US$83.400,000 million.

A report, which was presented by the Chairman of the Finance Committee, James Klutse Avedzi, said that the government, through the AUTP, intends to put in place various interventions to address the problem, and facilitate movement along the corridor.

Meanwhile, the committee noted that the implementation of the project presents numerous economic benefits to the country, citing that it will help reduce the heavy traffic congestion on the Accra-Pokuase stretch of the Accra-Kumasi highway, and help facilitate the movement of goods through the corridor to the port city of Tema, thereby promoting trade and commerce. The loan came with a grace period of five years, and 25 years repayment, exclusive of grace period.

Also the House approved on an amount of eleven billion, two hundred and thirty-nine million Japanese Yen. The loan agreement was between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Government of the Republic of Japan (Acting through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The said loan is to be used for the construction of a new bridge across the Volta River on the Eastern Corridor Road at Volivo.

The request was justifiable said the Chairman of the Finance Committee, as it would reduce the impact of the pressure on the Adomi Bridge. The multiple crossing points will also ensure uninterrupted flow of traffic, in the event of any unforeseen circumstances, resulting in the closure of the Adomi Bridge, as recently experienced, the committee’s report stated.

Another loan Parliament said yes to was an amount of 13,000,000 Euros for the construction of three regional and twenty-two district offices for the Ghana Audit Service.

Agreed between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbau (KFW) Frankfurt Am Main, the facility will help improve the logistical and human resource capacity of the Ghana Audit Service, and improve public financial management in the country, the committee’s report indicated.

The House also approved the request of the Ministry of Finance on a buyer credit facility agreement between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and Banco Santander S. A. and its affiliates for an amount up to 65,037,500 Euros for the development of the Kumasi International Airport, and a loan for the construction of Phase II of the Tamale International Airport.

It also approved a tied commercial loan agreement between the Government of the Ghana and Banco Santander S. A. and its affiliates for an amount up to 7,762,500 Euros for the development of the Kumasi International Airport.

However, a request for waiver of import duties, import VAT and NHIL, Ecowas levy, EDAIF, Inspection fees, withholding taxes and other related taxes, amounting to the cedi equivalent of US$922,371, being the offshore component, was also approved, as well as GH¢733,419.36.

This will be the local component relating to the project materials and equipment to be procured, under the agreement between Ghana and Saudi Fund, for the development rehabilitation and expansion of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital.

 
 
Source: The Chronicle
 
 

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