President John Mahama has hit hard at some five Members of Parliament (MPs) who again dragged the Lonrho Free Port project in Takoradi to court and lashed them for abusing the system and delaying the project because the matter had been ruled upon by another court already.
The MPs who took the case to court were Kwaku Kwarteng (Obuasi West MP), Kwabena Okyere Darko (Takoradi MP), Joseph Cudjoe (Effia MP), Mavis Hawa Koomson ( Ewutu Senya MP) and Kofi Brako (Tema Central MP).
The president said government has 45% shares in the port while the financier and those who brought the project have 20% and 35% respectively; hence, he did not know what the MPs were seeking to achieve with the court action.
According to him, the court action has delayed the project because the financiers were waiting for the court action to be over before they start financing the project.
The president said these in response to a question on the Western Railway lines in the Western Region during an interview on Twin-City Radio in the Western Region yesterday where he was touring.
On borrowing, the president said borrowing from both domestic and international market has been cut short by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He noted that government had submitted a debt management plan to the IMF and as part of the deal with the Fund; government is prevented from borrowing above a certain amount each year.
The deal, according to President Mahama is affecting certain major developmental projects in the transport sector tailored to improve the lives of the citizenry across the country.
“That has delayed the Western Railway line project. It was supposed to have been on the CBD but as you know there had been some problems with it and so we moved it to the Brazilian funding but the IMF clause came in. So we are looking at how we will be able to resolve it,” he noted.
Nonetheless, he said there have been some major works on the Sekondi-Takoradi-Kojokrom rail line to help facilitate the conveying of bauxite and manganese to the Takoradi Harbour.
The president stated that “once that line comes into operation, it will increase the revenue the railways gets to enable them meet their wage demands.”
On the 200 Senior High Schools project, President John Mahama admitted his government may not be able to complete the construction of some of the schools as promised the Ghanaian people.
He explained that budgetary constraints may delay the construction of the schools although some are ongoing.
On skills development for the oil and gas sector, the President disclosed that a fund is supposed to be set up in the local content law that will be used to train technical people for the sector.
In addition, he noted that government is considering setting up Takoradi Polytechnic as a Centre of Excellence for the oil and gas sector.
Source: Daily Heritage
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