Ghana’s public debt stock which has been estimated to be in the region of GHC110 billion would go up as Parliament approves more loans for government.
The legislators, since resuming the business of the House, have okayed several loan agreements namely a 450 million Euro loan for the development of University of Environment, a KFW Frankfurt 13 million Euro loan, and 80 million Euros for the construction of phase II of the Tamale and Kumasi International Airports.
The rest include a 350 million Euro which has been earmarked for the construction of a railway line and a 93.4 million Euro for the improvement of the transportation system in Accra.
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A member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Benjamin Kpodo told Raymond Acquah, host of Joy FM’s Top Story programme Monday, the Committee paid due diligence to details of the agreements before approving them.
“The issue has to do with the detail of the contract. Our duty is to look at whether it is a credit or direct loan which is being contracted by the government,” he said.
He said they were interested in issues such as the commitment fee for such loans, who was giving the loan, and what the conditions were.
Mr Kpodo explained that after the Committee had considered the details of the agreement, a representative from the Finance Ministry was invited to justify the agreement.
“Who is government borrowing the money for?” he asked, adding the money is being borrowed by the government to expand infrastructure in the country.
He said the Committee would have had issues with the loan agreements if they were being contracted for the payment of salaries.
The Ho Central legislator said the loans are going to be used to fund the construction of the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Kasoa Interchange and the Tamale and Sunyani Airports.
Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, Dr Assibey Yeboah had lamented about the development to Joy News, saying, “this presents a lot of danger.”
He claimed the President does not consult Cabinet before forwarding loan agreements to Parliament.
“It is not for nothing that the Constitution says there shall be a Cabinet consisting of not less than 19 ministers so that everybody brings his views on board,” he said.
But Executive Director of the Africa Center for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Rasheed Dramani has described the situation as normal.
“There is nothing new about this. We have seen this over the years in the best of situation every parliament needs a lot of time before loans can be approved, but what we have seen is that getting to the end of parliament we see these things,” he said.
Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Austin Brakopowers | Email: Austin.firstname.lastname@example.org