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Friday, December 3, 2010

John Jinapor Would Learn From His Mistakes: Kweku Baako

Mr. Baako
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The Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, has said he finds it difficult to make sense of arguments that the country’s oil revenue should not be collateralised.

Clause Five of the Petroleum Revenues Management Bill - currently in Parliament - states that the oil wealth cannot be used as collateral to raise credit. The government is believed to be pushing for an amendment of that clause to allow the use of the country’s oil resource as collateral for loans to embark on a massive infrastructural development but the Minority in Parliament is against it.

This has resulted in the ongoing fracas in which the Vice President has been accused of assuring a Chinese firm through a letter that the country’s oil would be collateralised in his bid to woo the firm.

During a discussion on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana programme Thursday, Kweku Baako noted that the country’s focus should not be on whether or not to collateralize the oil revenue but instead pushing for the drafting of a legislation that would put a seal on how much of the revenue can be collateralized.

“I am not convinced with the argument that we cannot use our oil revenue as collateral…,” Mr Baako stated, adding that “I am against it …I don’t think it makes business sense to have oil revenue and say that it can’t be applied as collateral…” He recalled an instance during the erstwhile Kufuor administration when the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), with the approval of the Energy Commission, entered into an agreement with Sahara Oil and part of the corporation’s 10% stake in the Jubilee Fields was offered as a form of collateral.

Malik Baako insisted that a legal framework which puts a seal on how much revenue could be collateralized by any government at any given time was what the nation needed as a matter of urgency.

On the goof of the Vice President’s spokesperson, John Jinapor, who first denied his boss ever signed a letter alleged to have made commitments to a Chinese firm but later acknowledged that the Vice President indeed signed the said letter, Mr Baako expressed hope that John Jinapor would learn from his mistakes. He said, “well, he is a young man; I think he is learning, learning very fast [and] this must be a lesson to him.”

“We journalists by our nature, when we start asking questions and you are not ready to talk don’t talk,” he admonished, adding “nothing stops you from saying that hold on let me go and check and come…”

Story by Dorcas Efe Mensah/myjoyonline.com/Ghana
Source: Dorcas Efe Mensah/myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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