July 19, 2010

The STX deal was sent to Parliament ignoring certain “important and essential” advice of the Attorney General, Works and Housing Minister Alban Bagbin has told Joy FM.

Mr Bagbin said the deal in which the Korean company STX Group was expected to construct 200,000 housing units at the cost of $10 billion was taken to the House without considering certain questions raised by the A-G.

“The only thing that led to the reconsideration of the matter is that the advice of the Attorney General’s Department has not been factored into the original documentation,” Mr Bagbin said explaining why the agreement was withdrawn from Parliament.

Government withdrew the deal from the House after the Minority had raised questions over the absence of certain key documents critical to the agreement.

The opposition MPs had accused government of failing to do proper due diligence and asked for the including of the documents before the deal could be debated.

Prior the withdrawal, government was assailed on all sides for awarding a contract to a foreign company when local firms could have been engaged at a much lower cost.

But in what appears to be the latest twist to the debate which has already generated enormous headlines, Mr Bagbin says the A-G’s advice should have been taken on board.

“The Attorney General was given the agreement that was signed outside this country in Korea by delegations and officials of this country subject to the advice of the Attorney General’s Department.

“So the Attorney General advised that some clauses be restructured and some deleted. That was not factored into the document that was presented to Parliament, and we thought those pieces of advice from the Attorney General’s Department were very important and essential and that is why we think that the committee should go back and look at all this,” Mr Bagbin told Joy FM’s Parliamentary correspondent Araba Koomson.

Meanwhile it is not known whether the withdrawal of the deal will affect the visit of the Korean Prime Minister Chung Un-chan’s to Ghana next month to cut the sod for the project to commence.

When asked about the Korean Premier’s intended visit in the face of the withdrawal of the deal, Mr Bagbin said: “We will reconsider and take a decision on this matter before the President of Korea arrives in this country.”

“It is the expectation of leadership that this matter will be brought back and dealt with before Parliament rises on the 3rd of August.”