General News of 2014-03-15

Ghana delegation chases $3bn Chinese loan

A team will leave for China, Saturday evening, to finalise agreements for the release of the much anticipated $3 billion China Development Bank (CBD) loan, President John Mahama has announced.

The government has come under criticism for not fast tracking the process to seal the loan agreement, while interest on the facility is already accruing.

But addressing the Western Regional House of Chiefs in Takoradi on Saturday, President Mahama said government will use part of the $3 billion loan facility, in building more landing beaches in the region.

The CDB loan, which is also targeted at the transformation of infrastructure in the country, has been on hold for almost three years although key points in the loan agreement had been finalised.

The China government was expected to disburse the full amount in three years in three tranches, in some of the most productive areas of the Ghana economy seen as one of the biggest in the West-African sub-region.

However, since the signing of the final agreement, China has disbursed only $600 million to Ghana for the gas project, which is under the control of the Ghana Gas company.

But the president is optimistic the delegation to China will bring good news. President Mahama also asked Ghanaians to be patient with his government as it struggles to deal with the ongoing electricity supply challenges -- partly brought about by the delay in release of the CDB loan. He says government is doing everything possible to ensure Ghanaians enjoy reliable power supply. The President has been in the Western Region since Friday as part of a three-day working visit to the region.