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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Minority walks out, as Majority approves STX deal

By Citifmonline.com | Wed 04th August, 2010 13:00 GMT
All is set for the controversial STX housing project to start, after Parliament approved the 1.5 billion dollar deal on the night of Tuesday August 3, in spite of a walk-out by the Minority.

The loan, Sub-divided into Off-taker Agreement, the Joint Venture Agreement and the Suppliers Credit of US$ 1.525, 443, 468.00 for the construction of 30,000 units, were laid separately the same day with separate motions moved for their adoption.

The only Minority Member who sat through the proceedings on the floor of the house was the Member of Parliament for the Asikuma Odoben-Brakwa Constituency, Hon. P.C. Appiah Ofori.

He however left the Chamber minutes before the Speaker put the motion for the approval of the Suppliers Credit Agreement to a vote.

The Minority in walking out claimed the Majority side was perpetuating an illegality, citing amongst other things, the pendency of a judicial decision on a lawsuit filed at the Supreme Court by the Convention Peoples Party Youth Organizer, Mr. Kwabena Bomfeh against Parliament and the Attorney General over the STX Housing deal.

Before approving the 1.5 billion dollar Suppliers Credit Agreement which is to help source funding for the STX Housing Project, the House passed both the Off-Take Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the HFC Bank Limited.

Earlier, Minority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyie Mensah Bonsu, in announcing his side’s decision not to take part in further debate on the STX agreement, warned STX Korea officials they will live to regret their involvement in the deal.

‘‘As I have already indicated we were not part of the committees which considered the referrals indifference to the Supreme Court because of the potential of being cited for contempt. Mr. Speaker, We in the Minority are unable to further participate in these three STX agreements for the rather farcical and ‘patapaa’ (forceful) manner in which this business is being conducted. Mr. Speaker, in spite of my earlier deceleration and I still cling to it, that STX Korea has the technical competence to engage in their endeavor. Mr. Speaker, what we have said relates to the capacity to deliver and the Financing arrangements of these agreements. Mr. Speaker, on this not, let us put the Lenders and Supplier’s on notice that they will live to regret the consequences’’ he said.

Meanwhile, Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister, Hon. Alban Sumani Babgin, has strongly condemned the position taken by the Minority, especially the Minority Leader’s caution to STX Korea, saying Hon. Mensah Bonsu’s comments were reckless.

‘‘They have just served notice to themselves that the good people of Ghana should no everything in their power to never let them come back to power, that’s all, because these are some of the statements that are very reckless and increases the political risk of a country. If a company is coming to invest and there are some technical problems in Parliament, it is not the making of the company, so how can you use those technical problems and procedural issues to give notice and warn the company coming to invest in your country? It increases the political risks of a country and we should stay away from such statements. Not all that NPP did when they were in power were good and correct, but we did not make such statements. It was a reckless statement made by the Minority Leader’’ He said.  

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