General News of Mon, 26 Aug 20028
Finance Minister To Reveal Details Of IFC Loan
Finance Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo (MP) is expected within the next two weeks, to reveal to Ghanaians the outcome of his recent visit abroad during which he was engaged in final negotiations to secure the release of the first tranche of $350 million loan from the controversial International Finance Consortium (IFC).
The Minister’s Special Advisor, Dr. Akoto Osei told the Business and Financial Times that certain aspects of the loan have undergone review since the discussion began several months ago, saying that, “It is time to prove that everything about the IFC loan is genuine.”
Though the special advisor did not disclose whether the $350million has been secured, the paper says its investigations have revealed that the Finance Minister would most likely have in his portfolio a signed loan agreement. The money is then expected to be released to the government before the end of the year.
A document made available to the paper also indicates specific areas that would benefit from the $350 million IFC loan. It stated that over $100million would go into the roads sector while an amount of $75 m will go into energy and infrastructure. Drainage and sanitation would receive $25m. Village infrastructure would receive $15m, engineering structure $20m, while contingency and communication would have $25m. Urban and rural electrification would receive $60m and $30m respectively. The document also indicated further the terms of the loan.
The $350m IFC loan would attract 2.55 interest, and a fee of 3.5%, amortisation period is 25 years and a 3-year grace period. The IFC ($1bn) loan has attracted heated debate from Parliamentarians, civil society, some members of the donor community and sections of the public, most of who, suggested that the loan is not genuine enough whilst the company (IFC) is unknown to the World Bank in spite of its claims that it is an affiliate of the World Bank.