MP questions $15b China loan

 Mr. Forson

Mr. Forson

Former Deputy Minister of Finance Cassiel Ato Forson has raised doubts that recent loans of up to US$15 billion from the Chinese government to Ghana is coming with no underlying condition.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, shortly after arrival on Sunday June 26 from a working visit to China, announced that government had reached an agreement with the Chinese government for the mutual benefit of both countries.

According to him, there were no underlying conditions attached to the loan which would be invested in government’s One-District-One-Factory project and other sectors of the economy.
Dr Bawumia also assured that the assistance from the Chinese government would not compromise the fight against galamsey as the Chinese government does not support galamsey and has cautioned its citizens’ resident in Ghana to be law-abiding.

Mr Forson, who is the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament, said China could still influence government to their benefit.

He also questioned why the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was going for loans when they criticised the then Mahama administration against funding projects with borrowed funds.

“What is going to be the impact on debt stock and debt sustainability? …When they were in opposition they said they were not going to borrow and they would use resources of the state, so why are they borrowing now?” he asked.

Mr Forson observed that processes to undertake before accessing the loans will take at least two years and Ghana will not have all the money at once.

“Knowing the Chinese and having worked with them, it is going to take a bit of time, at least by my calendar I will not calculate anything less than two years,” he said.
Former Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane Boamah stated that the Chinese government will demand more crude oil and other natural resources in return for the huge amounts they are extending to the country.

He indicated that they are likely to make outrageous demands in return for the amounts that have been given to the country in the form of loans and grants.

Members of the opposition are skeptical about the amount promised by the Chinese government wondering if government is in the position to meet their demands that may be advanced by the Chinese, since in a similar fashion, they promised the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government 3 billion dollars but managed to access 1billion dollars. –

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