Minority fumes as Parliament approves $500m for GNPC

The Minority in Parliament has cautioned government against what it terms as unnecessary borrowings from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, GNPC.

Governments have over the years either borrowed directly from GNPC or externally on their books.

The development has affected activities relative to the core mandate of the corporation.

Currently government owes GNPC over $300 million dollars.

Speakings to Starr News after the approval of $500 million dollars for 2020 work plan for the GNPC, the deputy ranking member for the Committee on Mines and Energy Dela Sowah urged the Finance Minister to cease treating the corporation as a financial institution.

In a related development, Parliament on Tuesday approved a €56,153,500.000 facility from Deutsche Bank AG and Global Services (UK) Limited for the construction of health facilities in parts of the country.

Two Trauma Hospitals will be constructed in Obuasi in the Ashanti Region and Anyinam in the Eastern. The facility will also see an Accident and Emergency Centre put up at Enyiresi Hospital and the rehabilitation of Obuasi Health Centre.

The project forms part of the approved list of priority projects for implementation captured in the 2020 Budget and Financial Policy Statement presented finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta and are expected to be completed within three years after commencement.

The facility agreement between the Ghana and the lending Bank Deutsche Bank AG with TMF Global Services of the United Kingdom as the facility arranger to finance the projects was presented to the House on Wednesday July 1, 2020 Charles Adu Boahen, a Deputy Minister of Finance on behalf of the substantive Minister Ken Ofori and referred to the Finance Committee for consideration and report.

In presenting report of the finance committee on the agreement, Chairman of the Committee Mark Assibey-Yeboah said the country is committed to ensuring the provision of health infrastructure to ensure quality health services delivery and also to promote universal access to health care services nationwide.

According to the New Juaben South MP the introduction of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has enhanced financial access to healthcare services with increasing utilization of Out-Patient-Department services nationwide, yet the development of health infrastructure has not kept pace with the continuous increase in demand for OPD services in all regions of the country.

The Committee Chairman explained

The object of the loan is to finance the construction of the required infrastructure and the provision of medical equipment and ancillary services to ensure that the beneficiary hospitals are fully operational and befitting their status to provide the enabling condition for attracting the needed healthcare professionals.

Mark Assibey-Yeboah added the Committee observed that Obuasi in Ashanti Region and Anyinam in the Eastern Region presently do not have any major government hospitals while the existing Obuasi Health Centre is presently ill-equipped and inadequate to meet the health needs of the burgeoning population of the catchment area.

The Committee, he said, was also informed that the Enyiresi Hospital though strategically located along the Accra-Kumasi highway does not have a modern Accident or Emergency Centre, hence the project is intended to provide the required infrastructure, medical equipment, ancillary facilities and services to ensure that the beneficiary hospitals are fully operational and befitting the status of modern hospitals with emphasis on trauma.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM

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