The Akufo Addo administration has become a subject of ridicule as it becomes apparent that the Chinese have swerved with the government’s much-touted US$ 2 billion loan-for-Bauxite deal to finance infrastructure in the country.
The government had stated that the Sinohydro funds would be channeled into massive infrastructural projects and had fruitlessly chased the Chinese throughout its first term for the phantom funds.
The government was even willing to sacrifice Ghana’s biggest and untouched forest reserve in Atiwa to the Chinese to mine bauxite.
Barely US$ 100 million of the expected funds have been released by the Chinese, thereby stalling the Akufo Addo administration’s infrastructural plan.
The government has since been justifying the failure, claiming the phased plan for the infrastructural project was to blame.
“The commencement was in 2019, but other batches were in 2020. So they are all at different stages of completion. The $100 million you’re talking about, they are just one and half years into construction,” said Dr Muntaka Alolo, the Director of Special Projects and Investor Relations at the Vice President’s office.
He made the statement on an interview on Joy FM monitored by Whatsup News.
In May 2018, the government signed a Master Project Support Agreement with Sinohydro for the construction of key infrastructure in exchange for the proceeds of Ghana’s refined bauxite.
The widely-publicized and criticised $2 billion deal included plans to dualise the Adenta-Dodowa road in a plan scheduled to have commenced in 2019, but has since stalled like almost all the projects earmarked for the Sinohydro loan.
But the Director of Special Projects at the Office of the Vice President says there is no cause for worry.
“The rest will start end of this year or early next year. Even the ones that have all started didn’t all start at the same time,” he reassured in a rather uncertain tone.
In November 2018, the government announced that the first tranche of $649 million from the $2 billion facility has been made available for Ghana to access.
However, three years later, only about $100 million of this amount has been released to Ghana, with the Minister of Roads and Highways Kwasi Amoako-Atta last year, piling the blame on the COVID-19 pandemic, even though the pandemic started way after most of the funds should have been released.