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09.06.2004 General News

CNT/CNTCI loan is a mirage - NDC

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Accra, June 8, GNA - The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Tuesday described the CNT Group Holdings Limited and CNT Construction Investment Limited loan as a mirage.

Speaking at a press conference to respond to issues raised at an earlier press conference by Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, last Thursday, the NDC General Secretary, Dr Nii Josiah Aryeh said the New Patriotic Party Government now knew that the loan was a mirage.

He said President John Agyekum Kufuor "may be finding it difficult pulling out of the deal using the old propaganda that they are listening government".

Dr Aryeh dwelt extensively on documents in the public domain to press home that the CNTCI loan had not been handled with the level of transparency that was required.

He said: "After all the lengthy talk of Minister Osafo-Maafo, it is still not clear who the lenders are" and cited the inability of the NDC to contact the lenders from the address provided on the loan agreement documents.

Dr Aryeh noted that the fact that loan agreement documents taken to Parliament did not mention any "Sovereign Guarantee" was a serious omission.

He disagreed with Mr Osafo-Maafo assertion that the terms "Loan Agreement" and "Suppliers' Credit" could be used inter-changeably, explaining that while all Suppliers' Credits were Loan Agreements not all Loan Agreements were Suppliers' Credits."

Dr Aryeh asked for further explanation of what appeared to be double funding for the Accra -Tema Rail Line Project and the Achimota- Nsawam Road project.

He said the NDC was not seeking to thwart the efforts of the NPP Government to source for funds from alternative sources to finance development projects in the country.

"However, we consider as despicable arguments by NPP Spokespersons that it does not matter where money for our development comes from", he said.

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