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STX Korea brings down building equipment, before Ghana deal is finalized?

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The STX Vessel docked at the Tema Harbour as captured by the Daily Graphic

Ghanaians woke up to news on the front page of the Daily Graphic newspaper of October 18, 2010, that STX Korea Group, the company that has a deal pending to build housing units in Ghana has brought into the country a ship load of equipment ready to start digging the ground and raising the foundations. The action obviously looks like the contract is a done deal, even though there are yet to be clarified some aspects of the contract.

Signing of the deal which has come under severe criticisms from opposition parties, the NPP and the CPP and some civil society groups, was suspended on the day it was scheduled for signing. The signing ceremony scheduled for September 20, 2010 at the Osu Castle was called off following what the government simply described as “Legal issues that could not be resolved immediately at the last meeting before the ceremony.” But as it turned out, these “legal issues” is a clause in the final agreement which says Ghana’s oil will be used as collateral for the repayment of the loans for the construction of the houses.

The report says the vessel, Korean RoRo STX ChangXing Rose, offloaded 458 assorted items, including tipper trucks, construction equipment, saloon vehicles, excavators, fork lifts, Hyundai 4X4 vehicles and bulldozers.
The report however, indicated further that officials of the company on board the vessel, including the captain could not explain the exact purpose to which the cargo would be put.

The government of Ghana, the South Korean government and STX Group of South Korea signed the deal Tuesday December 8, 2009 for a $10 billion housing deal according to information emailed to ghanabusinessnews.com from South Korea. A former Minister of Works and Housing, Albert Abongo signed on behalf of Ghana.

The deputy Finance Minister, in the midst of the controversy had defended the deal on the BBC. He insisted that the deal was good for Ghana, because it comes with financing.

If indeed, the deal is yet to be signed, as the government has issues with it, why would STX Korea ship down construction equipment into the country? Or they know what the rest of the country does not know?

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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