… Because of govt’s inability to send details to Parliament
The Minority in Parliament yesterday expressed misgivings about the government ‘s inability to send a gas project to the House for debate before fast tracking the contract on the project.
The $750 million project is to transfer gas from the Jubilee Fields to onshore to relieve Ghanaians of frequent gas shortage.
The Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu raised concerns on the floor of the house when he said the project was being fast tracked and the contract was unknown to the House .
“There is the need for the contract on the project to come to the House for debate on issues and that even though it is necessary to expedite action what is right ought to be done.’’ He said
Supporting his claim. Anthony Akoto Osei , MP for Old Tafo , said government needed to be reminded that loans are approved by Parliament and that the house was guided by a Supreme Court ruling on the matter.
He said unless the House was properly informed matters dealing with the project should be in abeyance and that “ there must be a proper way of attending to government business to move it forward.’’
In an intervention , Haruna Iddrisu , MP for Tamale South, said the loan agreement and the contract involved was bought to the house through the Finance Committee and quoted Articles 181 to 185 to buttress his point , but Dr. Osei indicated that sub-committee should not arrogate powers to themselves.
Responding , Alhaji Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo, Deputy Majority Leader said the Leader of government business should give direction to the house and that nothing should be in abeyance since business was moving on
He assured the House of finding out why the agreement was not in Parliament and report to the House.
In a related development , a credit agreement between was the government and KBC Bank, NV of Belgium for an amount of 13,735 , 800 Euros for the implementation of the Technology –based Learning Solution , a High –Ended Multimedia Laboratories and E-learning Class Management System for the education sector was presented to the House for adoption.
When the loan agreement between the government between and nine other local banks involving &28,970,899,38 for the implementation of the Akim Oda and Akwatia in the Eastern Region and Winneba in the Central Region for the improvement of water supply projects both Central Region for the improvement of water supply projects , both sides of the House described it as very laudable and that it would go a long way to reduce water borne disease and iron deficiency which had afflicted the people in the three communities.
Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah , MP for Bantama said more than 80,000 people would benefit from the project.
She said the river Birim and other water bodies had been polluted through human activity and there was the need to devise a system for preserving the River and other water bodies so as not to incur losses in water supply .
Madam Dapaah said the project would increase the water supply from the current three million gallons to 13 million to Akwatia.
David Tetteh Assumeng , MP for Shai Osudoku said investing in the water sector was essential for improving living standards and called for positive attitudes from those who would man and use the facilities.
Simon Edem Asimah , MP for South Dayi, was hopeful that the completion of the project would enable the nation to meet its Millennium Development Goals on water by 2015.
However, the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, even though lauded the project expressed concern about lack of detailed analysis on the project to enable the House to debate constructively.
He said the agreement lacked population distribution, quantum of production, duration and future for expansion to attract further agreement.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah – Bonsu said reducing non reducing non revenue water from 50 percent to 20per cent was on the hindsight and that some financial aspects of the agreement such as construction of residence offices and units were ambiguous which needed clarification and asked the Finance Committee to endeavour to engage consultants to ensure value for money.
Hackman Owusu-Agyeman , MP for New Juaben North, wondered how government should agree to lending rate of 24 per cent from local banks and advised that the agreement should be looked at again.
Professor George Yaw Gyan –Baffour, MP for Wenchi, said there was the need to separate commercial from concessional loans.
Speaker of Parliament, Joyce Bamford –Addo, urged the finance Committee to endeavour to present a detailed report since the majority of members were not very conversant with financial agreements.
The Ghanaian Times