April 1, 2011

The Minority in Parliament is raising red flags over a loan agreement government is hoping to enter into with a Chinese Bank.

According to the group, the terms of the 1.8 billion dollar loan agreement for the construction of roads in the eastern corridor would tie up Ghana’s oil revenue for fifteen years.

It also requires that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation surrender its concession rights and other sensitive and valuable information.

Minority Spokesperson on Energy, Joseph Adda told Joy Business the agreement would contravene the recently passed law on the management of the oil revenue.

He said while the law required oil revenues to be rooted through the national budget, the agreement suggests that money owed the lenders should be directly to them.

This “means that the proceeds [from the sale of oil] offshore will not come through the national budget process anymore,” he said.

The MP for Navrongo Central said for the sake of transparency, “we need to know how much is being earned and that money has to come through the annual budget funding process.”

He said, currently as the agreement stands, if the GNPC lifts crude oil, the proceeds will be paid directly to the Chinese lenders – a situation he argued posed transparency questions.

Mr Adda claimed the lenders were also asking for Ghana’s survey maps, the seismic data, and other assets in the assets and the development and production process as a form of guarantee for the loan but he said that amount surrendering Ghana’s sovereignty.

The Minority are asking the Attorney-General to advise on the provisions of the loan agreement.