Parliamentarians have called for a bi-partisan approach to the $2 billion Sino-hydro barter arrangement with the Chinese government.
They said the country should approach the agreement with the singular view of maximising the gains Ghana could get from the agreement.
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, Chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, in a statement on the floor of the House, emphasised the need to deepen the long-standing relations between Ghana and China.
“Mr Speaker, the Sino-Hydro agreement is welcome news that needs a bi-partisan approach, with a singular view of raking in the best interests for our dear country,” he stated.
The Parliament of Ghana approved a $2 billion Master Project Support Agreement (MPSA) between Ghana and Sino-Hydro Corporation Limited for the construction of priority infrastructure projects.
Under the deal, Sino-hydro Group Limited is expected to provide the funds for infrastructure, including roads, bridges, interchanges, hospitals, housing and rural electrification, in exchange for Ghana’s refined bauxite.
The barter deal involves the processing of alumina from bauxite deposits in the country by the Ghana Integrated Bauxite Development Authority (GIBDA).
According to the terms of the agreement, Ghana would only pay on the portions of the funds equivalent to work that would be done.
Mr Annoh-Dompreh also stated that the Sino-Hydro deal was a giant step to transform and fast-track the country’s developmental agenda.
He said the country should be able to stay focused, pursue its core interest, and resist every subtle attempt by any development partner to “manipulate and dictate” the pace of its development.
“In exchange for the $2 billion, I will urge that we rather entrust our talents in the hands of the skilful, than to bury them… Mr Speaker, Ghana has a long standing relationship with China, and I believe that this new agreement is another giant step to transform, enhance, and fast track our development agenda.”
Mr Rashid Pelpuo, MP for Wa Central, in his contribution to the statement, cautioned the government to endeavour to safeguard the interests of the citizens in securing funding for projects.
He said the dignity and sovereignty of the nation must not be compromised, therefore, such agreements should not be one-sided.