Government To Set Up Fund To Address Infrastructure Gaps

Gas Pipeline ProjectThe government is to establish a fund to finance infrastructure projects in the country, Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, has said.

He said apart from the Heritage and Stabilisation funds, the government plans to set up an infrastructure fund to raise revenue to address the infrastructure gaps. The Minister explained that part of the oil revenue would be used to create the fund.

Mr. Terkper, who said these at the induction ceremony of Winfred A. Mensah as the District Governor for District 9102 of Rotary International in Accra at the weekend, cited Nigeria, Angola and Botswana as some of the African countries which have pursued such initiative to address the infrastructure challenges facing them.

Mr. Mensah who is the first District Governor of the District 9102 of Rotary International, would serve for a period of one year. The induction was also used to outdoor a new cloth for the District and new members who had pledged to make an annual donation of $1000 to the society.

Mr. Terkper said the country could not borrow commercial loans to construct projects such as schools, saying such a practice would put financial burden on the state and plunge the country into crisis.
Financial and development experts say Ghana would need about $1.5 billion in the long term to address the country’s infrastructure deficit.

The Minister explained that the vision of the government was to use part of the oil revenue to finance key infrastructure projects which could pay for itself, citing some of the projects as the expansion of the Tema Port and the Gas project.

Such a move, he noted, would make the citizens “feel the real benefit of the oil revenues.’’
Mr. Terkper said the country’s attainment of a middle income status had exposed it to opportunities as well as challenges.

He said as a result of the country’s status, Ghana could not borrow from the World Bank and its partners on soft rates and had to look for money from the capital market and commercial sources at high rates.
He pledged the government’s commitment to efficiently manage the country’s resources to accelerate its development to the benefit of all.

Mr. Terkper lauded the Rotary International for the sacrificial service it was rendering to humanity and the role it was playing to eliminate polio and poverty.

Mr. Mensah who is from the Rotary Club of Accra West, in his inaugural address, said, District 9102 which covers Ghana, Togo, Benin and Niger, was carved out from District 9101, and currently has 66 Clubs and over 1,900 Rotarians. – Kingsley Asare

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