The People's National Convention (PNC) has joined in the public criticisms of the NPP MP's decision to pass a $60 million loan agreement, half of which will be used to construct a presidential complex.
The NDC MPs staged a walk out on Wednesday in protest at the decision on the grounds that the expenditure was frivolous. Commenting on the matter, a vice chairman of the PNC, Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan said the decision to accept the loan typifies the ruling party's indifference to the myriad of socio-economic problems facing the country.
“This honestly to me is very unfortunate. We are looking at our salary situation. I don't think this is the priority for today. If we can get a loan of $30 million for electrification then we must get the other $30 million for rural water but to build a place for the presidency, I don't think it's a priority to the Ghanaian as at today. Even if it's necessary, not now,” he said.
The General Secretary of the Convention People's Party, (CPP) Professor Nii Noi Dowouna also raises some concern about the loan agreement passed on Wednesday.
“It is misplaced in the sense that government must learn to be modest in what it does and also place priorities right. I don't think given the myriad of problems confronting our people and the development projects that we need, this is something we need at this point in time.
In country where we virtually borrow for everything, modesty is also a mark of judicious economic use of resources to take a loan to build a new palace. If we should renovate the flagstaff house or the Peduase lodge, that's a different matter but India is a developing or a middle developing country if you talk about South South cooperation.
They have done a lot by self-support. These are the things that we need to learn from India,” he said. Meanwhile, presidential press secretary, Kwabena Agyapong has dismissed criticisms of the $30 million loan to build a presidential complex.
He told newsmen that the investment is not a misplaced priority because it will serve other regimes. “The important thing is to set the records straight. This is a national project anybody who has any thinking about project implementation will recognize that first and foremost before this project can be laid out, it may be that president Kufuor himself will not be able to go and live in that presidential villa.
It is important that we recognize that Ghana needs a presidency; it's not for president Kufuor. The country will go through difficulty periods and it is because of our difficult periods that we are having assistance from our fellow developing country.
It is a soft loan that we will pay over a long time. It has a long repayment period. The Presidency signifies our nationhood, so we have to sometimes take away the politics from this kind of issues,” he said.