Mr Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, who announced this, said Ghana had between now and 2020 to access the two billion dollar facility to propel the nation’s infrastructure drive.
The Minister of Information, who was addressing journalists at the bi-weekly media briefing, in Accra, on Wednesday, said two sets of contracts had been laid before Parliament namely, the Engineering Procurement Construction contract (EPC) and Deferred Payment Agreements (DPA).
He said the Finance Committee of Parliament would meet on the Agreements today and after the meeting, the Committee’s report would be presented to the plenary by the end of the month to pave way for construction work to begin.
The Information Minister said the Sinohydro deal had 30 per cent local content reserved for Ghanaian contractors and the expressed the hope that construction work on infrastructure, such as roads and interchanges would begin by the end of the year
Ghana and Sinohydro of China signed the Master Project Support Agreement, last year, when Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia visited the giant Asian country with the world’s second largest economy.
The Parliament of Ghana, subsequently, approved it.
Ghana has 15 years to settle her side of the deal through a Bauxite Barter Arrangement. This includes a three-year moratorium.
Responding to measures put in place to safeguard the environment during the extraction of bauxite, the Minister said the country had established a company called the Ghana Integrated Bauxite and Aluminum Development Corporation (GIBADC), which is being backed by law to resolve any teething challenges, including ecological issues posed by the exploitation of bauxite.
The GIBADC, he said, would also ensure that the necessary joint venture agreements with other developers on the mining, processing of the bauxite and refining were signed before the end of the year.
He said the Government was in the process of appointing boards and other officials to the GIBADC.
He gave the assurance that the Environmental Protection Agency would be on hand to ensure that all the environmental standards were observed throughout the process in order not to compromise environmental interest of the nation.
Some of the projects to be funded with the $649 million are the 84-kilometre Accra Inner City roads, 100-km Kumasi Inner City roads, Tamale-Interchange, Takoradi PTC Roundabout Dual Carriageway and the Sunyani Inner City roads
The rest are the Adenta-Dodowa-Dual-Carriageway, Western Region and Cape Coast Inner City Roads, the upgrading of selected feeder roads in the Ashanti and Western regions, the rehabilitation of the 38-km Oda-Ofoase Abirem Road and the construction of 66.4-km Hohoe-Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu Road.