$710 million loan to improve Ghana food security – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu clarifies

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The new loan agreements between Ghana and the World Bank, according to Majority Leader of Parliament Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, will boost the country’s food security.

He claims that a part of the facility aims to give farmers in the nation the tools they need to take advantage of the coming of new technology and produce adequate food for the nation.

This was stated by the member of parliament for Suame in an exclusive interview with OTEC Captain Koda on Wednesday’s Nyansapo breakfast program on Kumasi based OTEC 102.9 FM.

Seven loan agreements were approved during an extraordinary session of parliament that took place on May 3, 2023.

The purpose of the $750 million credit agreement is to advance the digital acceleration agenda, food security, COVID-19 response measures, and public sector reforms.

One of the loan facilities approved was a $150 million on-lending agreement between the Government of Ghana (GoG) and the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group to finance the second phase of the Multipurpose Programme Approach’s West Africa Food System Resilience Programme.

Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, a member of the Minority who questioned the government’s choice to seek extra loans at a time when Ghana is looking for a bailout from the IMF, highlighted that this facility will enable farmers to give the nation a food buffer.

He continued by saying that Ghana needed to develop robust food supply systems to prevent any future food shortages, taking a page from other nearby nations experiencing severe food shortages as a result of famine and civil conflicts.

The minority group opposed the facilities, arguing that the government shouldn’t borrow at this crucial moment when imprudent borrowing has caused an economic crisis.

However, the majority clarified that because each facility is intended for a particular project, it must be supported.

After the hearing, minority leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson spoke to the media and questioned whether it was prudent for the government to make loans during these economic times.

John Kumah, the deputy finance minister, clarified that the loans are not completely new.  He claimed that although the government had already taken control of the facilities, it was still necessary for Parliament to provide its approval as required by law.

John Kumah mentioned his desire to obtain credit assurance from the Paris club in relation to the ongoing IMF negotiations in order to facilitate board level agreement.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com/Jacob Agyenim Boateng

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