Business News of 2014-03-05

Settle differences and access all US$3b CBD loan - China tells Ghana

The Chinese Government has expressed the hope that Ghana will be able to settle its differences with the China Development Bank (CBD) to enable it access all the US$3 billion loan facility meant for infrastructural development.

So far, Ghana has been able to access US$1 billion out of the US$3billion loan after signing four sub agreements with the CBD, according to the Director-General of the Department of African Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Mr Lu Shaye.

Mr Lu told the Graphic Online in Beijing that the entire US$3 billion loan facility was a framework which was signed between the two countries and that Ghana needed to sign a number of sub-agreements to enable it access the entire amount.

He pointed out that the two countries needed to explore ways to ensure that the rest of the sub agreements were signed.

The laws of Ghana however requires that the government should submit the sub agreements to Parliament for deliberation and approval before the amount could be released.

“The staking point at the moment is that the government of Ghana is unwilling to submit the sub agreements to the Ghanaian Parliament for deliberation and approval", Mr Lu stated.

He said he was aware that the government and the CBD were currently involved in discussions to find a common ground to pave way for the access of the rest of the amount.

"I hope that the two parties will be able to settle their differences according to market reviews and through friendly cooperation so that we can achieve the good things anticipated in the master agreement", he said.

The loan agreement, according to Mr Lu, was purely an economic and business issue between the Ghana government and CBD and expressed the hope that problems associated with the access of the a rest of the amount would "be settled according to business practices, international norms and laws of Ghana".

Touching on the involvement of illegal mining activities by some Chinese nationals with the assistance of some Ghanaians, Mr Lu said the Chinese government was saddened by such activities which were degrading the environment.

He called on Ghana to effectively implement its laws on gold mining to prevent Ghanaian nationals from colluding with their Chinese counterparts to illegally engage in gold mining.

Mr Lu questioned why the government had not been able to fight illegal mining which had been going on over the year attributing that to what he called "ineffective implementation of laws regulating the mining sector".

He pledged the support of China in Ghana's quest to put a stop to illegal gold mining activities.

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