The Director of Special Projects and Investor Relations at the Office of the Vice President, Dr Mutaka Alolo has opened up on why some projects under the $2bn Synohydro deal have not begun,

According to him, the deal has been structured in a way that sees the projects phased out with different commencement days to ensure that when the repayment is due Ghana will have enough proceeds from bauxite for the repayment.

Speaking on Top Story on Monday, he said that “this transaction is structured on the back of bauxite and refined bauxite, so while we are drawing down to implement these projects we also need to be mindful of the fact that repayment date will get here soon.”

“So we have to work on our integrated aluminum bauxite industry simultaneously. So, it is structured in a way that we are sure that by the time the first repayment is due and subsequent repayment is up, the bauxite arrangement would have been done.”

The explanation follows a documentary by JoyNews which questions, where the $2 billion Sinohydro money meant to fix Ghana’s infrastructure needs, was.

As part of a memorandum signed between Ghana and China in 2018, Beijing will finance $2 billion worth of rail, road and bridge networks, and in exchange, China will be granted access to 5% of Ghana’s bauxite reserves.

On November 21, 2018, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah announced that the first tranche of $649 million from the $2 billion facility has been made available for Ghana to access. However, three years on, only about $100 million of this amount has been released to Ghana.

Meanwhile, many of the projects including the Adenta-Dodowa road which was one of ten lots approved under the Chinese sponsored Sinohydro deal, remains undone.

However, Mr. Alolo says that six projects out of the 10 that was initially signed have commenced and are in different stages of progress.

He stated that the $100million released have been used on these projects adding that as the projects progress the bank will release more money for them.

“If you look at the first 4 projects, the Tamale Interchange, Cape Coast and Western Region innercity roads, the Ashanti and Western inner roads, and the Eastern corridor, we commenced them from December 2019.”

“The deal is structured in a way that the money is made available to you it is just like any infrastructure financing project. They don’t give the money to you to hold and use, the bank keeps the money as and when the project progress they pay. The over $100m we are talking about is the amount of work that has been done on the ground on all the projects.”

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