10 January 2014

Ghana: Prez Calls for Early Release of CBD Loan

President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday appealed to the Chinese government to expedite action on the release of $3 billion China Development Bank (CDB) loan to support infrastructural development.

He said although Ghana had received only about $600 million from the $3 billion loan, the country continued to pay commitment fees on the whole loan.

"I hope that the CDB team, which is expected in Ghana next week, would tie all the loose ends and facilitate the processes for the release of the loan."

President Mahama made the call when Mr Yi Wang, Chinese Foreign Minister called on him at the Flagstaff House, Kanda.

Mr Yi, who was on a two-day visit to Ghana, is on a tour of four African countries to strengthen trade and diplomatic relations between China and those countries.

He had already visited Ethiopia and Djibouti and would complete his four-nation tour of the continent with Senegal when he leaves Ghana.

Present at the meeting were; the Chief of Staff, Mr Prosper Douglas Bani, Mr Raymond Atuguba,the Executive Secretary to the President, Ms Hannah Tetteh, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Seth Terkper, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, MrArmah Kofi Buah , the Minister of Energy and Petroleum and MrFifiKwetey, the Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of Financial and Allied Institutions,

The President said the continued payment of commitment fees on the whole CDB $3billion, was a disincentive to Ghana as the country particularly as the funds were not flowing as expected.

Touching on the extradition of foreign illegal miners in Ghana, President Mahama said government had to take such harsh measures to protect the fast depletion of the country's natural resources through the illegal means.

He said the government was working to streamline the mining sector to stop the degradation of the environment and commended the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Gong Jianzhong, for his collaboration in resolving the issue of deportation of Chinese illegal miners.

In his remarks, Mr Yi expressed the hoped that the CDB team that was expected in Ghana next week would address all the challenges and facilitate the release of the loan to support infrastructural development.

He acknowledged the challenge of illegal mining and expressed the commitment of the Chinese government to working with Ghana to address the situation.

Mr Yi said 2014 was a year of transformation for China, and indicated that China would enhance its relations with Ghana and other African countries.

GNA

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