Pull the brakes on $1bn syndicated loan deal – John Jinapor tells Treasury Department

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A minority in parliament has vowed to resist the government’s bid to get parliament to approve a $1 billion syndicated loan currently before the House.

The Ministry of Finance is seeking parliamentary approval for a $750 million loan facility agreement between AfreximBank and a $250 million loan agreement from a syndication of banks to fund capital and growth in the 2022 budget.

According JoyNews‘ Parliamentary Correspondent, Kwaku Asante, the loan agreement is due to be debated in the House on Friday, according to the provisional agenda.

Addressed exclusively to JoyNews’ Parliamentary Correspondent Thursday, a member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, John Jinapor said the finance minister must withdraw the loan request in the House.

He called on both House caucuses to reject the loan deal currently before Parliament.

“I think both the Majority and the Minority should do what is necessary and ask the Minister of Finance to withdraw this request. We have to go through all the processes, look at the true state of the economy, why we are in this mess, what we should be borrowing and exactly where we are applying those funds.

“Given the current circumstances and what they [Finance Ministry] gave is so opaque, not transparent and does not stand the test of time and I hope MPs on both sides will put the nation first,” he said.

According to him, if the loan is approved, the government “will pay almost $50 million in insurance and then pay about $1.75 million in arrangement or agency fees”.

He described the length of the loan facility as “terrible” and “unfriendly” and must be withdrawn.

Member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, John Jinapor

On Friday, John Mahama, speaking at the launch of a think tank, Think Progress Ghana, urged minority MPs to reject the loan deal.

“Even worse is the fact that this government has guaranteed almost every source of revenue and is seeking to guarantee more, including our gold royalties under the dubious Agyapa Deal.

“In view of the above, we at the NDC cannot support the $1 billion syndicated loan agreement. We would like to notify in the future that the NDC in Parliament will not support any further borrowing or non-concessional loan that is not project specific,” he said.

He said that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) would not participate in any action that could cause the destruction of the country.

Mr. John Jinapor said JoyNews‘ Parliamentary correspondent that his side will fully comply with their leader’s directive.

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