Parliament has approved the controversial $3 billion dollar loan agreement between the Government of Ghana and the China Development Bank (CDB) despite objections from the Minority.
Citi News Parliamentary Correspondent Richard Sky reports the motion was passed by voice vote. The Minority abstained.
There was fiery debate on the floor of Parliament a day after Minority MPs successfully blocked debate on the loan agreement, citing the need to thoroughly read a revised version of the earlier agreement, which was laid earlier.
The debate took off after Presiding Speaker, Hon Edward Doe Adzaho, shot down a veiled attempt by the Independent Member of Parliament for Bekwai, Joe Osei-Wusu, to arrest deliberations on the facility. Earlier, Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Hon Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, called for immediate withdrawal of the agreement, citing what he said were serious discrepancies between the report of the Finance Committee and the terms and conditions of the loan as captured by the revised agreement laid earlier.
However, Haruna Iddrisu, Tamale South MP and Minister for Communications, disagreed. Making his submission, he described the $3 billion dollar loan as a very good initiative that must be lauded by all well meaning Ghanaians.
After submissions from members on both sides of the House, the matter was put to a vote by voice. The Majority shouted its approval, while Minority abstained.
A report to the House prepared by the Finance Committee of Parliament said in part: “Majority of Members of the Committee agreed that request...asking the House to approve the Master Facility Agreement was in order and therefore the Committee should recommend it to the House for approval. However, the Minority disagreed with that opinion.”
It concluded: “Upon critical examination of the Master facility Agreement, the Committee, by majority decision, finds that the facility would contribute to provide a comprehensive and accelerated infrastructural development across the country.
“The Committee therefore, by majority decision, recommends to the House to adopt this report and approve by resolution for signing by Government, the Master Facility (MFA) for a three billion United States Dollars ...Term Loan Facility between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the China Development Bank (CDB) to finance agreed Infrastructure Development Projects under the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GSGDA) in accordance with article 181 of the 1992 Constitution and sections 3 and 7 of the loans Act, 1970 (Act 335).”