The Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper says Transport Minister, Fifi Kwetey, was being deceptive when he said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) wasted a $750 million loan facility in 2007.
Backing his challenge of Mr. Kwetey’s claims with documents, Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako Jnr said it was baffling how the Minister would make such a claim when there is evidence of infrastructural projects that the loan facility financed.
Some of the infrastructural projects that were financed with the loan facility were praised by the late President, John Evans Atta Mills, he revealed on Joy FM/Multi TV news analysis programme, Newsfile, Saturday.
At a ‘Setting the Records Straight’ forum last Thursday, Fifi Kwetey said NPP has no reliable knowledge about debt servicing, citing how the opposition party wasted the $750 million Eurobond proceed when the party was in power.
“For us in the NDC, foreign loans are meant for investment. Most likely, because the NPP was so wasteful with foreign loans, the party wrongly assumes the NDC has the same defect. No! We in the NDC have a great track record of using foreign debts to invest in solid investments,” Mr Kwetey had said.
However, rebutting Mr Kwetey’s remarks on NewsfileSaturday, the Mr Baako produced a World Bank document prepared jointly between Government of Ghana and the World Bank that dealt with the facility.
Reading copiously from the said document, he said, “It says ‘non-concessionary borrowing in 2007 was mostly used to raise energy capacity and that of 2008 is being accessed. Out of the $750 million borrowed in 2007 in the form of Eurobonds $595 million have been disbursed by January 2009.
‘The proceeds were allocated primarily to support public investments in the energy sector according to the following distribution:
286 million dollars for investments by the Volta River Authority (VRA)
134 million dollars for investment by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG)
54 million dollars for investment in the Bui Dam
31 million dollars for the government’s equity investment in the West Africa Gas Pipeline, and
90 million dollars for public investment in roads infrastructure
‘The information provided by the Government of Ghana confirms therefore that proceeds from the Eurobond were used for productive investment, primarily in electricity generation and distribution, two areas that have been identified in the 2007 programme as warranting additional investment to sustained economic growth’, this from the Mills administration to the World Bank.”
He also cited a memorandum presented to the Cabinet of the late John Mills’ administration by then Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffuor to corroborate the contents of the document jointly prepared by the World Bank and government.
“It can’t be a waste,” he told show host, Samson Lardi Anyenini.