The Minority in Parliament wants the government to immediately table before the House, the memoranda, and agreements covering the $19 billion facility contracted from China.
The leader of the caucus, Haruna Idrissu, at a press conference on Wednesday, said the constitution demands that any such agreement between Ghana and other countries must be subject to parliamentary approval.
“While we wait for the ‘galamsey $19 billion to come into the country, it is important that we remind the Vice President that mineral resources are vested in the president for and on behalf of the people of Ghana. We are mindful that the engagement with China bothers on the exploitation of mineral resources…. Under Article 181, it is not only loan agreements that are brought before Parliament. Per the Supreme Court ruling, under Article 181, economics transactions to which the state is a party are required as a constitutional imperative to have parliamentary scrutiny and parliamentary approval,” he said.
The government has come under pressure from the Minority and some civil society organizations over its plan to leverage the country’s Bauxite deposits in the Atiwa forest to contract the money.
But according to the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia who led Ghana’s delegation to sign the MOU for the $19 billion facility in China, it is a joint venture arrangement with that country and not a loan as has been suggested.
“It is a joint venture; and essentially that is what the leveraging means in this context. It is a win – win situation…because as a country, we have been used to the old model of borrowing from China, many analysts have not understood this new paradigm. They, therefore, keep referring erroneously to the $15billion Chinese loan. What we are proposing and the agreements we have reached so far are not new loans, but rather joint venture proposals using less than 5% of our potentially refined bauxite reserves,” he said.
Meanwhile, the minority is accusing the government of hypocrisy in its arrangement with the Chinese government. It said it was surprising that the Vice President, who heavily criticized the former government for contracting a loan of $3 billion from China is now leading the charge for Ghana to get even higher amounts from that country.
Bauxite ‘mortaging’: 5m Ghanaians to lose access to potable water – NGO
A report by A-Rocha Ghana, an environmental NGO in the country focused on the preservation of natural resources says more than 5 million Ghanaians including residents in some parts of Accra may not have access to potable water when Ghana seals its deal with China for the $15 billion facility.
It said that this is because of the country’s plan to leverage its bauxite resource especially within the Atiwa forest where some major water bodies have their source.
A-Rocha Ghana fears that that water source will be polluted when the exploitation of bauxite begins.
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