First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, has defended Parliament’s approval of a $2 billion bauxite deal between Ghana and Sinohydro Corporation Limited for construction of priority infrastructure projects.
He argues that the benefits to be derived by Ghanaians far outweigh the ongoing debate over whether it is a loan or barter agreement.
“Whether you call it a loan or a batter, it doesn’t matter. So long as it gives me 10 Kilometres of asphalt road at the busiest part of Bekwai; it builds hospitals; it builds the bridges, the people of Ghana, in the end, are benefitting from it,” he told Joy News.
Parliament last month approved the $2 billion Master Project Support Agreement (MPSA) between Ghana and the Chinese engineering firm.
Under the deal, Sinohydro Group Limited of China will provide $2 billion of infrastructure of government’s choice in exchange for Ghana’s refined bauxite.
Ghana will establish a refinery within the next three years and select its own partner to undertake the refining of the bauxite.
But there is opposition to the deal. Some civil societies are fighting the location where the bauxite will be mined, citing environmental reasons.
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However, Osei Owusu says Ghana needs the critical infrastructure, suggesting that groups opposing the deal should take cognizance of that.
“I think what was important was that we will get the infrastructure for the people of Ghana, not the politics of it,” he said.