“The Committee noted that though the Ministry is requesting for approval of an amount of US$300.00 million, the 2014 Appropriation allocated only GH¢144.00 million
under CAPEX for the Ministry of Defence. The Committee held the view that the amount currently being sought for is outside the Ministry's appropriation and requires further parliamentary Authorisation in line with ….”
“The Deputy Minister for Finance, however, explained that this expenditure was not anticipated at the time of the appropriation of the 2014 Budget and promised the Ministry's preparedness to seek the needed parliamentary authorisation through a Supplementary budget to allow the utilisation of the facility.”
Unless, of course, the Deputy Minister is telling us that tomorrow he is coming for authorisation, then even if we approve of this loan, it cannot be spent for this year 's Appropriation. We would be exceeding it.
Mr Speaker, these are the reasons that we say we must do the right thing. The Hon Deputy Minister must do the right thing before we approve of this loan.
Mr Speaker, let me go to the terms and conditions of the facility. Mr Speaker, VTB Capital Limited is 61 per cent owned by the State of Russia. It is the lender, it is the arranger, it is the facility agent. One company. Mr Speaker, let us do the right thing. It is the lender, it is the arranger, it is the facility agent. It is charging us two per cent, that is six million dollars - to do what? Six million dollars.
Mr Speaker, this facility agent, arranger, and lender is charging us 1.85 per cent -- US$5.5 million as upfront fees. So, as soon as we approve, somebody gets US$11.5 million. To do what?
You mean, the Government of Ghana, with all these experts, the Deputy Minister, the Governor, need somebody to charge us US$11.5 million to manage this loan?
Mr Speaker, the Government must do the right thing.
Mr Speaker, if we default, two per cent. Mr Speaker, the interest rate is six months libor plus seven.
Mr Speaker, do you know what it means? It is 7.2 per cent dollar rate. This Government must do the right thing, this Parliament must do the right thing. The grace period is two years, repayment in three years, so the maturity is five years. What it means for the simple mind like ours is that, after 2016, this Government must find over US$300 million, that is over $100 million a year just to service this loan.
Mr Speaker, there is no question about the fact that those in Mali, South Sudan, Lebanon need to be helped but you see, part of this loan is for recurrent expenditure here. Let me take you to the Committee's Report. This is not just for the South Sudanese troops; you do not need to borrow $70 million to buy petrol in Ghana, that is a recurrent expenditure. I would want to take you to page 6 of the Committee's Report;
“Free deployment training support”.
Mr Speaker, all those items are recurrent expenditure. Do we need to borrow dollars to buy petrol for the troops here, not in South Sudan, Mali or Lebanon? Do we need to borrow dollars for recreational training here in Ghana? This is a recurrent expenditure that must be sustained. We want money for our troops outside but let us do the right thing. Look at this, feeding in Ghana, please. Colleagues, let us think this through. We would want to borrow US$70 million to feed people here in Ghana, not in Lebanon, Mali or South Sudan; that is not correct.