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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Minister: Kufuor government overpriced loan agreement by $102m

Minister: Kufuor government overpriced loan agreement by $102m
Minister: Kufuor government overpriced loan agreement by $102m


A deputy Energy Minister, Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, says the Mills administration has saved an amount of $70 million after re-negotiating a loan agreement with Exim Bank of US entered into by the erstwhile NPP administration.

According to him the New Patriotic Party government over-priced a $350 million loan agreement with the bank by $102 million in 2008 before its departure from office.

Mr Buah made this revelation in an interview withJoy FM’s Super Morning Show host Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah on Tuesday.

He was responding to allegations that the NDC government was re-announcing the $350 million loan package which has already been secured and approved by parliament in 2008, a time the NDC was in opposition.

The loan was to extend electricity to the northern parts of the country.

Whilst conceding that the agreement started in 2008, the deputy energy minister said it was the new government under President Mills which “cleaned it up” by renegotiating the terms of the agreement.

He said Parliament’s approval of a loan agreement is no guarantee that the amount has been secured, adding, “Parliament has passed so many loans which have not seen the light of day.”

“When the NDC government came in, what President Mills directed was that we look at the loans that have been passed and see those that we can salvage. What immediately came out and was widely publicized was that this $350 million loan scope was over-priced by over $102 million.

“We did due diligence and the scope of work was cleaned up and we were able to save the people $70 million,” he added

According to him, further re-negotiation ensured that the local content was improved well over 15% to create more jobs for the local industry.

He stated further that the government under President Mills has in addition to the $350 million secured well over $330 million in “less than a year in power” of the NDC government to improve electricity in the Northern and Upper Regions of Ghana.

Kweku Kwarteng Head of communications for the NPP and previously government spokesperson on Finance, told Myjoyonline.com he would react appropriately after acquainting himself with the details of the allegations.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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