….Application was clumsy, incompetent and knee-jerk
Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia apparently tickled himself and laughed when he returned from China a fortnight ago and touted the supposed $15billion that he claimed to have secured from the Chinese.
It has emerged that the whole ballyhoo was much-ado-about a pie still in the sky because the Chinese had not committed to the so-called “leveraging” deal with the Akufo-Addo government at all.
Rather, the Chinese had shooed Bawumia and his request away, over the fact that the approach for the loan was clumsy, incompetent and knee-jerk.
Sources tell of the shocking fact that Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia had approached China without a proposal or official project document to formally back his request for that huge amount of money.
The Chinese, who had been appalled by the incompetence and impulsiveness of the request, educated Dr. Bawumia and his followers that that is not how things are done in bilateral and multilateral relationships across the globe and that in such matters documents are required.
The Vice President, who had gone to China without a single document on the $15billion loan request, was then sent back with the advice to be exampled by the late President Mills and the way he (Mills) skillfully secured the $3billion CDB loan in 2011.
It was pointed out to Dr. Bawumia that, in 2011, when President Mills had approached the Chinese for the $3billion Chinese Development Bank (CDB) loan, he had gone along with a Master Facility Agreement.
The facility was complete with line items on the Atuabo Gas project, landing beaches as part of road networks for the Volta Region, the Eastern Corridor roads, proposed rail line from Tema to Akosombo and docking sites along the Volta Lake, among others.
It would be recalled that Parliament passed 12 subsidiary agreements in consonance with the CDB loan. And so, when President Mills went to China for the loan, he had in his hands the requisite paper work that required the Chinese to only assess and approve and then come down to jointly do feasibility studies with Ghanaian counterparts.
The Chinese would later only release just $1billion out of the $3billion because President Mills had seen a demand to put Chinese contractors in charge of the projects as defeatist to the need to create jobs locally. Also, the demand to sole source Chinese companies for the contracts was contrary to the procurement laws of Ghana and the late Professor Mills wouldn’t break the laws to appease the Chinese.
As the Chinese were not willing to accept the process for Chinese companies to competitively bid for the contracts along with Ghanaian companies, President Mills and the predecessor NDC government forfeited the rest of the loan.
It is the same loan facility that Dr. Bawumia recently reactivated and came back to announce it with fanfare, along with the announcement that he had secured $15billion extra from the Chinese.
The reactivation has since led to suspicions about the concessions that the NPP government made at the negotiation table with the Chinese. It is very apparent that the illegalities and disadvantages that President Mills refused to allow against Ghana were passed up by Vice President Bawumia in his quest to get the rest of the loan for Ghana.
Interestingly, the NPP had fiercely resisted the Mills government’s contraction of the $3billion CDB loan, boycotting a vote on it in Parliament in 2011.
Meanwhile, sources say Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia took the Chinese government’s advice about the need for documents in good faith and has since tasked technocrats to put together a comprehensive document to be presented to the Chinese later after his return from China some two weeks ago.
And so when the Vice President came back from China and started touting that he had secured some $15billion from the Chinese in exchange for China leveraging Ghana’s resources, he had had no commitment whatsoever from the Chinese.
It is now that experts that the government has put together to develop a document to be presented to the Chinese are trying to flesh out project proposals which the Chinese may, or may not, approve.
As the $15billion from China still remains a pipedream, The Republic has heard that the roadmap to seeing the $15billion hit the accounts of Ghana is even a long shot.
According to explanations by sources, after the project concept has been developed, a first phase of feasibility studies will commence, followed by a final phase of feasibility studies before transaction advisors are appointed.
Even so, it is said, that China is already distrusting of the Akufo-Addo government’s ability to come up with a comprehensive and convincing document on its own and therefore has sent down some Chinese nationals to advise on how to couch project documents in a way that will be irresistible to China.
It is said that at least 16 Chinese are in town working with directors of various ministries to come up with good project proposals.
The cost of this marriage of convenience between the NPP government and the Chinese advisors helping with the work on the documents is said to be running into millions of cedis, ahead of presentation to the Chinese Government, which is not under any obligation, whatsoever, to accept the eventual proposals.
Meanwhile, sources say that the play-out over the loan indicates that a single penny from the $15billion Chinese loan is not likely to drop until after, at least, three years. The delay in coming may be as long as five years.
Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia was all along aware of these facts when he took to touting from the rooftops that he and his government had secured $15billion in loans from the Chinese.
According to the Vice President, the $15billion was to be part of some $20billion that the Chinese had agreed to come and inject into Ghana’s economy in exchange for China leveraging some $460billion of Ghana’s bauxite.
Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has since indicated that the deal means that Ghana will have to give up the Atewa forest, which is supposed to be under conservation, for the Chinese to rape it for bauxite.
A massive blowback over the issue has since led to Dr. Bawumia, who had promised in opposition that his party would never borrow a pesewa if it was voted into power, to backpedal in a very clumsy comical way.
According to the Vice President, the $15billion expected from China is not going to come as a loan but as “leverage.” How “leverage,” whose closest synonyms include, loan ‘bargaining’ and remote synonyms include ‘credit’ is different from ‘loan’ in the context of the $15billion Chinese money has left many wondering.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Fiifi Samuels