The Minority in Parliament is casting doubt on government’s ability to raise $2 billion from China to invest in road and other infrastructure.
The Finance Minister in the mid-year budget review statement said the country faces a deficit in areas such as roads, water, bridges, electricity, hospitals, sanitation.
In order to bridge this gap, the Minister indicated that “a barter agreement, which aims to open up a new financing model for Ghana in undertaking future projects, has been reached with Sinohydro Group Limited of China, to provide US$2 billion of infrastructure including roads, bridges, interchanges, hospitals, housing, rural electrification, in exchange for Ghana’s refined bauxite.”
But Minority MP on Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, Edward Bawa says that money will not be available anytime soon to fund the roads.
“They have said that they want to invest in road construction. The source of funding is supposed to be the Sinohydro facility that we are getting.”
“That money will not be ready in the next 36 to 48 months,” he said, explaining that the funds will only be ready after Bauxite is mined until then, the government should not expect any money in the short term.
He feels the government is being unrealistic with promises as there is no guarantee that the Bauxite refinery will be up and working in the coming months.
“You promise people based on a time frame. The time frame is for your four years and you’re talking about roads in your mid-year review this year and meanwhile these roads are dependent on the money that is going to come, the money cannot come if the refinery is not there,” he said.
He added that if the fruition of the projects is dependent on the money, then “we are not going to get anywhere with this.”