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General News Thu, 13 May 2004

Minority files motion for rescission of "Saloon" loan

The minority in parliament yesterday filed a motion for rescission of the loan agreement between the government of Ghana, CNT Group Holdings Limited and CNT Construction Limited on an amount of $300 million.

The motion filed by the minority leader, Alban Bagbin, and minority chief whip, Doe Adjaho, was filed at the table office in line with Standing Order 93 (3) of Parliament, which states, ?It shall be out of order to attempt to reconsider any specific question upon which the house has come to a conclusion during the current session, except upon a substantive motion of rescission.

In an interview with the minority leader in Accra yesterday, he said the leadership had held an emergency caucus meeting to review the handling of the questionable CNT Holdings loan agreement.

He stated that they were doing this in the interest of the people of this country, that is why they had given the indication.

He noted that the motion would pass through the necessary processes and come to the business committee, of which he is a member.

?It depends on how urgent it would be seen but it is of importance to the whole nation.?

Bagbin explained that since the approval of the loan, many concerns had been expressed in many circles about inconsistencies and contradictions in the documentation supporting the loan.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) he said had conducted further investigations and was of the view that in the national interest, the loan agreement should be reviewed. ?In line with the standing orders of Parliament, the minority has decided to table a motion of rescission in respect of the loan agreement when the house reconvenes.?

He advised that government should discontinue the practice of unduly pressurizing parliament to approve important businesses requiring serious scrutiny to avoid a repetition of the CNTCI and IFC episodes.

It will be recalled that on April 13, this year, parliament approved a loan agreement in the sum of $300 million from the CNTCI, a private company incorporated in the UK with an affiliate in Hong Kong.

Source: Chronicle