The Members of Parliament (MPs) were expected to vote on Tuesday but it was deferred to today (Wednesday) because the number of parliamentarians in the chamber was low. This was after the Minority raised red flags about the utilization of the proceeds of the loan.
Ghana’s Parliament has approved a US$600m cocoa loan
Parliament has voted to pass the $600 million loan agreement for the Cocobod cocoa sector stimulus programme.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu earlier said the government must provide detailed information on certain aspects of the proposed stimulus programme.
“We want to know where the US$200 million will be going to because US$200 million can even set up four processing factories if we are to do a minimum of US$50 million per factory. That will be supporting indigenous Ghanaians in that sector. We have no difficulty with it but when we say US$200 million to support the domestic processing of cocoa, the committee must demand who will get this as support.”
“We need to know because you can set up a factory with US$50 million. We need full details from the government. Who will it go to? For what?” he added.
But the manager at the Office of the COCOBOD CEO, Fiifi Boafo, said they have engaged the Minority and hope they have addressed their concerns.
“We do not think the situation is going to remain the same when parliament reconvenes because a lot of the things that were said was out of the fact that some members were not privy to all the relevant information on this whole loan facility.”
“Some of them have enquired after what happened in parliament and explanations have been offered. It is our considered view that being informed about what the whole facility is about and it seeks to help cocoa farmers and the entire cocoa industry of the country when parliament reconvenes, a decision will be made. There is the need for us to go ahead because this money will be put to proper use and will be beneficial to our country”, he added.
A Deputy Minister of Finance, Abena Osei Asare moved the motion for the passage of the agreement.
Meanwhile the Chairman of the Agricultural Committee of Parliament, Kwame Asafo Adjei believes this is a step in the right direction.
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