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$2bn Sinohydro China Bauxite Deal – PREZ Akufo Addo And NPP Are Being Dishonest   
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The National Democratic Congress [NDC] Member of Parliament [MP] for Lower Manya, Ebenezer Oklitey Tei-Larbi, says though he has no qualms about government’s decision to access loans from international bodies for developmental projects, some of these loan deals will certainly not inure to the country's benefit.

To him, so far as Ghana is a developing country, it will need loans at all cost to better the economy, but not such financial agreements that will in the near future, be an albatross around our neck.

Hon. Tei Larbi was particularly critical over government’s recent bauxite deal with China.

Barter or Loan? 

There has been a series of back and forth accusations over the deal which was finalised over the weekend after a meeting between President Nana Akufo Addo and China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

Whies the Minority in Parliament is convinced it is a loan, government describes it as a barter arrangement. The trade deal saw the two factions trading words and calling each other names a few months ago.

Per the terms of the barter deal, government is leveraging on the Bauxite deposits in the country to offer a $2 Billion worth of Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminum to the SINOHYDRO Group Limited of China.

The Chinese company is expected to provide US$2billion of infrastructure including roads, bridges, interchanges, hospitals, housing andrural electrification in exchange for Ghana’s refined bauxite.

But concerns have been raised about the deal, with some even questioning its viability and value for money considerations.

Hiding A Supposed Debt From Ghanaians?

The Minority in Parliament is not convinced about the claim by government that the deal will not further inflate the already precarious state of the country’s debt to GDP portfolio, but rather see it as an attempt to hide a supposed debt from Ghanaians.

But the government has defended its decision to enter into the agreement because it is fully convinced that the right processes have been followed and the necessary due diligence have been done to ensure the nation gets the maximum benefit from its natural resources by adding value to them before exports.

Gov't Is Insincere

Contributing to a panel discussion on UTV’s ‘Adekye Nsroma’ programme, Hon. Tei Larbi accused government of not being sincere to the electorate.

“I have a strong belief that this Sinohydro deal is a loan and not barter trade as claimed because it is coming to add to our debt stock and we [minority in parliament] are concerned about the burden of additional borrowing cost on the over-burdened taxpayer,” he noted.
Source: Elizabeth Semiheva Bedi/Peacefmonline.com

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