Parliament fails to approve loan deal for second time in two weeks

For the second time during the second session of the 8th legislature, the absence of a quorum in the House forced the House to halt the approval of two major loan agreements in two weeks.

For the first time, the Chamber did not approve a loan agreement of 38 million euros intended for the construction of three district hospitals with a capacity of 40 beds due to a lack of quorum on Thursday March 10, 2022.

The failed approval of the deal between the Government of Ghana and Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank came after National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Tamale Central Mr. Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed raised an objection for lack of quorum.

He had asked the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu, who was presiding, that the House did not have a quorum and that, therefore, the debates should be adjourned.

In today’s sitting, chaired by Second Vice-President, Mr. Andrew Asiamah Amoako, the House also failed to approve a €20 million deal between the government of Ghana and the group of the German Development Bank in Frankfurt.

Purpose of the loan

The amount is intended to fund the Green Line of Credit under the Reform and Investment Partnership between the Government of Ghana and the Federal Republic of Germany.

The loan, which aims to expand Ghana’s access to renewable energy, among other things, is part of the G20 Compact with Africa and will be repaid in 32 years at an interest rate of 0.75% with an element of donation of 53.2%.

The overall objective of the project is to achieve the national target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2030 and to achieve a renewable energy (RE) share of 10% of the energy mix. total (excluding hydroelectric power stations).

The project will also contribute to the development of a sustainable green finance market as one of the prerequisites for promoting the renewable energy market and energy efficiency in Ghana.

Why no accreditation?

The House’s inability to approve the deal came after the minority raised an objection over the lack of a quorum due to the limited number of members in the House.

The objection came shortly after Finance Committee Chairman Mr Kwaku Kwarteng presented the Settlement Committee’s report and moved the motion asking the House to approve the deal.

The Chief Minority Whip, Mr. Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, raised an objection on the lack of quorum and suggested that the Speaker should ring the bell for 10 minutes to draw members from both sides of the House into the hemicycle.

“If the quorums are increased, you can’t negotiate them,” he said, and after a while he suggested that the loan approval be postponed for both sides of the House to mobilize their members. friday.

“Believe me, any attempt to continue would create problems for all of us. I agree that it is a grant that comes to us as a country almost free of charge,” the MP for Asawase said.

compromise

In response, the Chief Majority Whip, Mr. Frank Annoh-Dompreh, informed the House that prior to the start of business in the House today, the leadership had engaged in extensive consultations to ensure that the motion on the agreement be proposed and adopted.

Although he did, however, accept the bell to ring, he urged the House to review the deal from the perspective that it would enhance Ghana’s aspirations for a renewable energy mix.

“We are masters of our own rules, and I only want to plead with my colleagues that a motion has been proposed; let’s wait until it’s second, and then we can debate it.

“It is very important that we deal with this case because it cannot be put aside. I do not dispute the issues raised; you’re right and I’m just pleading that we let it go and let this thing pass,” he said.

He said the deal was time-dependent and it was important for the House to pass it.

“Please remember that there are very important fiscal variables in this deal and partners who are waiting for this deal to pass because it’s almost like a grant.”

He was of the view that the over-reliance on the national grid by public institutions such as educational institutions could be weaned with the implementation of the project, with the national grid focusing on supporting industries.

He therefore urged the House to support the approval of the loan.

Mr Annoh-Dompreh later conceded that while it was quite unfortunate that an objection was being raised to the lack of a quorum, “I would accede to colleague Muntaka’s request that you not ask about the motion and we consider it tomorrow.”

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