Accra, July 12, GNA - Parliament on Monday adopted the Report of the Joint Committees on Finance and Works and Housing on the Development Credit Agreement between Ghana and the International Development Association for an amount of 103 million dollars to finance Urban Water Project (UWP).
The purpose of the credit agreement is to support the efforts of the Government to increase access to pipe-borne water systems in urban centres, with emphasis on improving accessibility, affordability and service reliability to the urban poor.
The facility, which has a 30 years term of credit and 10 years moratorium, would also restore long-term financial stability, viability and sustainability to the Ghana Water Company Limited, (GWCL).
The Chairman of the Works and Housing Committee, Mr Samuel Darko, moved the motion for the adoption of the report and said the Government "will on-lend 100 million dollars to the GWCL" adding that the remaining three million dollars would be given to the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) and other agencies on a purely grant basis.
"The Committee subsequently noted that there is going to be a subsidiary on-lent agreement between the Government of Ghana and the GWCL for the 100 million dollars," he said.
Mr Darko said the Government had relieved the public utility producers such as the GWCL, the Volta River Authority and the Electricity Company of Ghana of various sums of their indebtedness in order to make them financially viable.
He said the project was taking place in seven regions of the country, including the Greater Accra and the Central Regions. Contributing in support of the motion, Mr Kosi Kedem, NDC- Hohoe South, said the loan must be properly utilised, adding that there was the need to check waste and inefficiencies in the operations of GWCL.
Alhaji Mustapha Idris, Minister of Works and Housing, said intervention programmes were already underway in Teshie in the Greater Accra Region and educational institutions in the Central Region to alleviate the acute water shortage these areas were facing.
In a related development, the House also adopted the report of the Joint Committee on Finance, Environment, Science and Technology and Local Government and Rural Development on the Buyer Credit Facility Agreement between Ghana and Fortis Bank (Netherlands) N. V. for an amount of 15,688,400 euros for the Kwanyaku Drinking Water Treatment Plant Rehabilitation and Expansion Works in the Central Region.
Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, Minister of Finance, noted that communities benefiting from such loan facilities were supposed to provide five per cent of the total cost of the projects as counter-part funding, saying that some communities had, however, had difficulties in providing the counter-part funding.
He said, the Ministry had, therefore, decided to support such poor communities from the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Fund, adding, "we would, therefore, expect such communities to write officially to the Ministry for support in this direction in order for the loan facilities not to pass them by."