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Minority worried about gas project

… 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

 

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Reporting Oil and Gas project was launched on 4th June 2009atTakoradi, Western Region, Ghana by Penplusbytes (PPB – www.penplusbytes.org) with the vision of providing a one stop online information and knowledge about Ghana’s oil and gas sector
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