General News of Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Source: Xfm 95.1
Parliament’s Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu is accusing President Mills’ led administration of perpetrating fraud vis-à-vis the joint venture agreement on the 10 billion dollar STX housing project.
The STX Company, through the controversial housing deal would provide government with an amount of $1,525,443,468.00 for the construction of 30,000 Units of houses out of 90,000 units as duty post for security agencies representing 45 per cent as off-taker agreement between government and the STX Company.
The terms and conditions of agreement include, total contract amount up to 1,525,443,468 US Dollars, Grace period of five years, Repayment period of 15 years (semi annual payments), Maturity period of 20 years, Interest rate 2 per cent fixed annum, arrangement fee, 0.75 flat, management fee of 0.5 flat and grant element of 36.93 per cent. However, the deal which has met stiff opposition from Members of the opposition New Patriotic Party has been stalled as a result of some legal issues raised by both the government and STX Korea.
A deputy Information Minister, James Agyenim Boateng explained then that the issue had been referred to the respective legal teams of the parties involved for further deliberations and advice. Speaking on the Big Bite on Xfm 95.1, a privately owned commercial radio station in Accra this morning, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu who also is the Member of Parliament for Suame constituency, cited the Government of Ghana of imposing fraud on Ghanaians should the STX Housing deal be signed as it is. Backing his allegations with comments from the Korea Ambassador to Ghana on the deal, Hon Mensah Bonsu said the Ambassador himself has confirmed that the deal in its current condition is fraudulent, adding that that is one of the reasons why the signing of the agreement has been put on hold.
“What we are saying is that there is fraud in this thing. The Korea Ambassador has confirmed what we said when he said that government has not even indicated by the agreement how they are going to pay, and he restated that one of the reasons why they have not started the project now is because government is not showing them how they are going to pay.” He said constant questioning by the opposition as to how the government would fund the project have gone unanswered as government “always play to the gallery”.
“In the Petroleum Revenue Management Bill, there is a clear provision that we should not use the oil revenue to settle debts, do you know that because the STX deal is hanging, government is saying that, ‘let’s remove that clause so that we can use it to pay the STX’? I mean what kind of fraud is the NDC government trying to perpetrate on Ghanaians?” Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu asked. He said in the wake of new developments, the deal must be returned to parliament for further deliberation. “Even if it’s in respect of one sentence that the Attorney General feels it ought to have that sentence authored another way, the agreement should come back to parliament.”
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu expressed the conviction that Ghanaians would come to appreciate what he called the NPP’s principled opposition to the housing deal and commend them. He reiterated their earlier position that the NPP is not against the deal in its entirety, stressing that the proper thing needs to be done in providing affordable housing for Ghanaians.
“If government intends to confront the housing problem in its own way, it should be commended without doubt, but it is the mechanism of the delivery that we are concerned about, that there are various issues which will not inure to the benefits of Ghanaians.”
Story by Abena Asiedua Tenkorang Xfm 95.1 Accra, Ghana