President John Evans Atta Mills

The Minority in Parliament is claiming that in addition to the principal and interests, the government of Ghana will have to pay close to $2.3 bn more for the $3 billion loan it intends securing from the China Development Bank (CDB).

The Minority argues that this smacks of corruption or a lack of due diligence on the agreement by the Mills’ administration.

NPP MP for Manhyia, Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, who referred to the off-taker agreement before Parliament, said though the principal amount of $3 billion plus interest comes to 4.6 billion dollars, the country is committing nearly 7 billion dollars worth of crude oil to the Chinese.

He wondered if the president was aware of the true cost of the loan to the country.

“When the president was approving this off-taker agreement, where was [his mind]? Did he read [the document]? How can you owe someone 4.6 cedis and pay 7 cedis”? Hon. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh asked.

According to him, it is mind-boggling that for the three years President Mills has been in power, crude oil has never sold below $100 per barrel, yet the government decided to peg the price of the commodity to be sold to the Chinese at $85 per barrel when it entered into an agreement with them.

Additionally, he said, the off-taker agreement on the $3 billion CBD loan provides that the Chinese can lift oil from Ghana for up to 20 years, but the Petroleum Revenue Management Law states clearly that petroleum revenues cannot be collatoralised for more than 10 years.

The Ministry of Finance is yet to respond to the issues raised by the Minority.

Source: Peacfmonline

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