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Value for money audit was done in $2b Sinohydro deal- Gov’t hits back

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has rejected the claims by the Minority in Parliament that no value for money audit was conducted in the 2 billion-dollar Sinohydro infrastructure projects.

The Minority spokesperson on Roads and Transport, Governs Kwame Agbodza on Tuesday called on government to suspend plans to officially cut sod for the construction of $2b Sinohydro projects until two documents requested by parliament ahead of approval are provided.

They wanted government to provide value for money audit and also a legal opinion from the Attorney General as required by law before the projects commence.

Despite their demand, President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo is expected to cut sod in Tamale today [April 10] for commencement of the much anticipated road infrastructure projects.

Addressing a news conference on the issue Wednesday, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the claim by the Minority “is not true”.

According to the information minister, “there is a value for money audit which is available, I’ve sited it myself.

“There is a value for money audit report that has been prepared by the Ghana Institute of Surveyors and submitted to the Roads Ministry which spells out the various areas of potential risk and gives us specifications on it,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said

Notwithstanding, he said the argument put forth by the minority does not even suffice because value for money audit is not a prerequisite for approval of agreements by parliament, adding and if the minority wish to see the report, they should request for it through parliament.

“…It is not even a prerequisite and if our good friends from the minority require that they can for it through parliament and it will be made available to them,” he stated.

He explained that parliament satisfied the necessary requirement in approving the agreement that will see government undertake several infrastructure projects, particularly in the road sector.

The Minister said the Attorney General is always involved in such agreements, adding before the agreement was submitted to Cabinet and subsequently to parliament for approval, the AG made the necessary recommendations.

In his view, the attitude of the minority clearly shows they do not “desire the sino transaction to go on” as shown in every step of the way.

He said the government was happy about how far preparations have gone for work to commence on the various infrastructure projects.

Background

Parliament in July last year approved a 2 billion-dollar Master Project Support Agreement between Ghana and Sinohydro Corporation Limited for construction of priority infrastructure projects.

Under the deal, Sinohydro Group Limited of China will provide 2 billion dollars of infrastructure of government’s choice in exchange for Ghana’s refined bauxite.

Ghana will establish a refinery within the next three years and select its own partner to undertake the refining of the bauxite.

By 3news.com|Ghana

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