Parliament has ratified by resolution the treaty to the Second Millennium Challenge Compact between the United States and Ghana for a grant of US$498.2 million.
Under the treaty, the United States and Ghana, acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) respectively, will collaborate to reduce poverty in Ghana through a number of initiatives.
Specific objectives of the programme is to increase private sector investment and the productivity and profitability of micro, small, and large scale businesses, increase employment opportunities, as well as raise earning potential from self -employment and improve social outcomes.
Moving the motion of the adoption of the report of the Committee on Finance on the treaty, Chairman of the Committee, James Klutse Avedzi, said MCC’s assistance would be provided in a manner that would strengthen good governance, economic freedom and investments in the people of Ghana.
He disclosed that projects under the programme includes the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) financial and operational turnaround project, the NEDco financial and operational turnaround project, the regulatory strengthening and capacity building project, the power generation sector improvement project and the energy efficiency and demand side management project.
He noted that on coming into force, MCC would grant the government, under the terms of the compact, an amount not exceeding US$498.2 million for use by the Ghanaian government to implement the programme.
He pointed out that the government of Ghana was also expected to contribute an amount of US$37 million, bringing the total amount to US$535.5 million.
He said the condition precedent that needed to be met were the approval of a Gas Action Plan and a long term Gas Sector Master Plan, the Electricity Company of Ghana Restructuring, the Electric Distribution Utility Payment Action Plan, and the Continuation of quarterly tariff adjustment.
Ghana was selected as eligible to develop this compact prior to the completion of a US$547 million compact which entered into force in February 2007 and completed in February 2012.
In another development, the House has approved for the allocation of 7.5 per cent of the total tax revenue to support the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF).
The National Petroleum Authority (Amendment) bill has also been approved to give legal backing to the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to fix their own fuel prices at the pump stations.
Source : ISD (Gilbert Ankrah)