Former Board Chairman of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Mr. Eddie Annan has urged government to develop the habit of investing credit facilities secured from lenders into viable projects in the country.
Mr. Annan said he finds it laudable for government to plant money into businesses that will reap a return on investments in order to pay off grants rather than financing schemes that are not economically profitable in any way.
According to him, the phenomenon of borrowing to undertake such non-profiting ventures if not curtailed will continue to add up to the nation's debt stock.
He used the case where the state in 2008 under Former President John Agyekum Kufuor secured an estimated $30million Indian grant for the construction of the Presidential Palace complex, Golden Jubilee House (Flagstaff House).
Contrary to suggestions by many of the then ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government spokespersons that the edifice was largely being funded by a benevolent Indian Government, it emerged that the project was costing the Ghanaian taxpayer GH¢176 million ($36.9m) at the time.
The amount was part of a $60m facility that has a 50 percent grant element, at an interest rate of 1.75 percent, repayable in 25 years, including a five-year moratorium.
It is in this regard that the 73-year-old engineer said government did not act "wise" enough in putting the money to good use.
“You borrow money, build a presidential palace that is not going to bring you money but you have got to find money to go and pay for what you have borrowed, it doesn’t make any business sense. But just think the other way round, grab the $35 million which you can put into so many other businesses like real-estates without risks.”
“I’m not saying government should get into business, but government can invest in business… so invest that $35 million in a business and get the returns from the business and then you can use the cash flow from the business to build that palace whiles the $35m is still working,” he argued.
Mr. Annan further noted that the profit-earning businesses would have created employment opportunities for the nation and revenue could increase due to the surge in the number of people working in those avenues.
“You can help your country grow up by creating jobs from those companies you set up,” he said.
Mr. Edward Annan was speaking at a public lecture dubbed: “Attitude making life 100%” at the Christ the King Hall in Cantonments Sunday May 13, 2018.
Edward Annan, a philanthropist, a career Entrepreneur is one of the successful and strong business leaders in Ghana. He has recently renewed his love for real estate development and currently undertaking projects for the upper class and has his only daughter Patricia I. Hawthorne (Annan) as his Personal Assistant assisting him in his office.
He is also working on establishing "Edward Annan Foundation" to take his hobby to a new height.
As an entrepreneur for the last thirty-five plus years, he used his innate ability for leadership to creatively capitalize on filling the technological vacuum in Ghana and other parts of Africa with innovative business and development initiatives that have helped people and businesses realize their full potential.
The influential member of the opposition National Democratic Congress party (NDC) entered the race to become the NDC's flag bearer for the 2008 Presidential Elections.
His campaign, which is focusing on quality of life, education, job creation and Entrepreneurship made waves in Ghanaian political circles.
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