An Urban Development Specialist Bernard Abeiku Arthur is urging government to structure the $15bn Chinese loan such that local companies take total control of its utilization.
He is cautioning government against any arrangement where foreigners will rather control the loan and in the end repatriate it to their countries to the detriment of the country’s economy.
“I think that, it’s a very good thing to now get assurance from the Vice President that the Chinese wants to inject about 10 billion into our economy particularly for the railway. Wonderful information, wonderful news, but we need to structure it very well because our locals must have the benefits of the infrastructure development that is supposed to take place. We do not expect that, that 10 billion which is going to be a loan to Ghana would also see people come from outside and take the chunk of the money back to their country. It must be something that must reflect in our local economy, it must come with knowledge; it must come with some experiences that people can live with”
It was announced by the Vice President Alhaji Dr Mohammedu Bawumia that a series of Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) have been signed with Chinese investors to support governments economic transformation agenda. Cumulatively, an amount of $21 billion is expected to help improve the Ghanaian economy.
The Minority in parliament and sections of the media have called for a deliberate scrutiny of the term of the deal. The majority on the other hand perceives of the stance taken by their political opponents as an act of mischief.
Abeiku Arthur describes the $15bn Chinese arrangement as welcoming particularly the fact that $10bn has been devoted to mining, industrial and railway feeds.
He however advises that government should make a case for local companies as against foreign companies taking over the utilization of the amount. Mr. Arthur argues that with such arrangement in place the country would be able to maximize the full benefits of the “Chinese Loan”.
“There must be a Deliberate National Policy that will see locals’ benefits from this investment. It could be that the first three years of the development and you don’t expect this thing to happen only three years or four years but the first three years, there must be some Ghanaian engineers who would be train on the back of this kind of infrastructure development.
With the view that five years or ten years down the line, those Ghanaian engineers would become the people who will manage it afterwards. So I honestly think that we need to get more Ghanaians into this, even if it’s going to be Chinese loan”