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General News of Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Source: Statesman

Ghana buys $37m Germany naval ships

Parliament has approved a loan agreement of $37,867,000.00 (28 million Euros) for the purchase and refurbishment of two former German Navy Fast Attack Craft Type S143 vessels.

The loan agreement is between the government of Ghana and Fr Lurssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG of Germany.

However, checks made by The Statesman indicate that the two ships were decommissioned by the German Navy in 2005 and were fated for the scrapyard.

Indeed, the Germans were prepared to pay for a company to undertake the scrap work!

Our checks also show that the German Navy decommissioned 9 Type 143 Albatros Class Fast Attack Craft for two squadrons (or Schnellbootgeschwader) based in Warnemunde in 2005, after being in service since 1976.

Six of them were immediately sold to Tunisia in separate months of decommissioning in 2005 for an average cut down price of $5 million per vessel, including supply of equipment, inventory and spares, training of crew and the transportation of the ships to Ghana.

Thus, while Ghana is paying nearly $38m for two vessels, the Tunisians, who bought theirs when the ships were just out of service, paid $8m less for six of the same vessels!

Thus, going by the Tunisian deal, Ghana could have gotten six vessels even disregarding depreciation after five years.

Also, on Tuesday, Parliament approved an amount of $50 million for the procurement of strategic equipment to re-equip the Army and Air force and an additional $50 million to improve existing barracks accommodation for the soldiers.

The Minority approved the two deals without questions. The $50 million buyer's credit for the army barracks was supported by both sides, reinforcing the sentiment that both Government and Opposition are in principle committed to resolving the accommodation crisis of security agents.

The two agreements were approved behind closed sittings because it involves the country's security