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25.08.2011 Politics

$3bn Chinese loan: What's the rush? – Ursula

By myjoyonline
Ursula OwusuUrsula Owusu
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The New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary candidate for Ablekuma South, Ursula Owusu, is worried that government is rushing to secure loans instead of ensuring that the nation's public service has the capacity to utilize such monies to benefit the people.

Her comments follow the controversy over the $3bn China Development Bank facility the government has placed before parliament for approval to fund several projects in Ghana.

Latest reports suggest the facility, which was before parliament for consideration and approval has been withdrawn and replaced with an improved agreement.

Ms Owusu, who was contributing to discussions on Peace FM's news analysis programme, Kokrokoo Thursday, acknowledged that since Ghana remains an emerging economy it would depend on loans and other such facilities to accelerate its development.

However, she maintained that caution needed to be observed in doing so in order not to overburden future generations with excessive debts.

She recalled instances in the past where loans had been secured for projects which never saw the light of day or projects which were undertaken but the results underutilized.

“Have we improved the capacity of the public service to utilize the funds?” she asked, adding that she is yet to be convinced about that.

She pointed out that the Chinese Government has nothing to lose with the agreement as it stands now, highlighting there are huge risks involved if care is not taken to ensure there is value for money.

"Why don't we take our time and do things properly?" She quibbled.

Ms Owusu also urged government to draw lessons from the failure of STX housing deal and ensure that the right thing is done for the benefit of all Ghanaians.

Story by Dorcas Efe Mensah/myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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