NPP MPs claim marginalization of region in credit facility for oil projects

New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs claim their region is being marginalised with regards to a credit facility to finance oil field projects in the country.

There is yet to be presented before Parliament for approval a credit agreement between the government of Ghana and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China for a US$1.8 billion facility to finance the implementation of the Eastern Corridor project, the Oil Fields Roads project, the Western Corridor project and other roads projects.

A report from Parliament’s Finance Committee will be presented to the House for the MPs to consider before approving the credit facility after a consensus is reached.

However, the Minority NPP MPs from the Western Region have said government is on its way to securing the Chinese credit facility for the road projects using oil as a collateral security.

They said the Western region has been mentioned in the project only as an appendage and a foot note, adding that “to all intents and purposes, this adjunct entry of the Western region came as an afterthought”.

Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, MP for the Amenfi East Constituency, flanked by his colleagues from the Western region also told a press conference at Parliament House that President Mills is reported to have cast aspersions on former President Kufuor to the effect that he failed to carry out promises he made to the people of the Western region.

The Amenfi East MP made reference to a sod-cutting ceremony performed Wednesday March 30, 2011 by President Mills for the reconstruction of the Tarkwa-Bogoso-Wasa-Akropong-Ayanfuri road, where the President is reported to have said that some people came to the region to promise but did nothing.

“Let everybody know that what happened yesterday was a mere continuation of where the Kufuor administration left off. The stretch in question, as we all know, is part of the main arterial road of the Western corridor from the port city of Tarkoradi to Kumasi and the natural resource enclave of the Western region,” Mr Aidoo said.

“On January 7, 2009 when the NPP was leaving office, the road had been asphalted to Tarkwa with funding from France and the European Union. Further funding for the next leg of the project, that is, Tarkwa-Bogoso-Wasa-Akropong-Ayanfuri amounting to €70 million has been secured from the EU. The studies and the designs had been completed. What was left was procurement, which was to be done in 2009 for the continuation of the road project to start in the same year,” he explained.

He said the Western region has been marginalized and nothing should be done to deepen its marginalization now that oil is being pumped in commercial quantities from its offshore.

By Eunice Menka

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