GIIF must be run without undue political interference – Minister
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, says the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) must continue to be run in the right way with strong corporate governance and without undue political interference in its operations.
He said that would enable management to build on the impressive of the Fund and take it to the next level.
Mr Ofori-Atta made these remarks when he inaugurated a nine-member reconstituted Board of GIIF with Mr Philip Addison as its Chairman and Mr. Solomon Asamoah as its Chief Executive Officer.
GIIF is a $325 million infrastructure investment vehicle established by the Government to invest and develop infrastructure assets in Ghana.
He said the government through him as a supervisor would continue to provide oversight and strategic direction for the Fund, but day-to-day oversight would rest with the Chairman and the Board.
Mr Ofori-Atta encouraged the Board to be bold and proactive without being reckless to make things happen in the infrastructure space for Ghana with creativity and purpose.
He called on them to help unlock new sources of finance and investment for the country and work closely with other Ghanaian institutions both public sector and private, to raise the infrastructure investment skills levels and create more jobs.
The Minister said the lack of fully developed infrastructure was one of the major impediments to economic activity and development in the country.
“It also negatively affects the quality of life of our people,” he said.
He said by creating Ghana’s own infrastructure investment vehicle, GIIF, which will mobilize and invest alongside the private sector, the country would have a Ghanaian owned entity to help drive our infrastructure agenda.
He said GIIF has had a very productive first four years and now has a portfolio of 12 investments totaling $290 million.
He said for each one dollar invested, GIIF had brought in 10 dollars of outside money so $2.9billion would have been invested in Ghana.
It has invested in seven sectors; transportation (airport and seaport); Power; ICT; tourism, mining, oil & gas, and affordable housing.
“It is also a profitable institution providing a financial return to the government, furthermore, we are increasingly using GIIF to drive the government’s infrastructure agenda,” he said.
He said the government was utilizing GIIF’s technical and private sector skills to drive government initiatives such as the refinancing of the expensive debts in the power sector (Power-GIIF); Agenda 111 (Health GIIF) and PPP’s (Accra Tema Motorway).
The Minister said it helped to ensure key infrastructure assets remain under Ghanaian ownership and control and reduced reliance on foreign investors.
Mr Philip Addison, Chairman of GIIF, said the importance of helping Ghana address its infrastructure deficits was a vital part of the government’s agenda.
He said both the President and the Minister of Finance frequently stated that unlocking private sector sources of funding for investment in Ghana’s infrastructure were priority areas for them.
He said, “I have seen that GIIF is an important vehicle through which the government can drive this agenda.”
“We pledge to do our part to help ensure that this institution is well governed and productive in achieving these ends,” he added.
He said they understood that although infrastructure projects by their nature usually take a long time to develop, finance and build, the institution had made excellent progress.
Approximately, 12 new infrastructure projects have been undertaken by GIIF, attracting over $2 billion of outside funding to complement GIIF’s investments.
He said it was clear that the new Board of GIIF was given a solid platform on which to add their contribution and help take GIIF to another level for the benefit of the Ghanaian people.
Mr Addison said the Board would work closely and productively with the Management and staff to make GIIF world class institution.
He assured the Minister that board members would strive to do their best to help the President to achieve the vision for GIIF.