Parliament has approved a loan financing agreement for an amount of US$ 88, 132, 722.24 to finance the Self-Help Electrification Programme (SHEP).


The agreement is between the Government of the Republic of Ghana and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) Limited as arranger, agent, insurer and the original lender.


Under the agreement, the loan has a grace period of 4 years, 11 years of re-payment period, 15 years maturity period and a commitment charge of 1.00 per cent per annum.


It also has a management fee of 1.50 per cent per annum and a 6m LIBOR including a margin of 0.5 per cent per annum.


By the terms of the agreement, SHEP will be undertaken by China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE) in 495 communities in five regions―Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Eastern, Volta and the Western Region.


The facility will partly finance the supply of equipment and materials for the electrification of 1, 033 communities in the beneficiary regions under Phase 1 of the SHEP Programme.


Presenting the report, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, noted that upon the signing of the credit agreement, the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) premium was reduced from the estimated US $8,022,385 as approved by Parliament to US$ 5,682,722.24, thus bringing the entire credit amount down to US$ 88, 132, 722.24 instead of the original US$ 90,472,385.'


Cassiel Ato Forson, Ranking member of the Finance Committee, said it would have only been fair if the commercial agreement accompanying the loan agreement was presented to the House to inform them if changes had been effected or not.


In another development, Parliament has approved the annual budget estimate of Gh¢91,481,044 for the Ministry of Works and Housing, Gh¢359,312,062 for the Ministry of  Local Government and Rural Development, Gh¢347,344,233 for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and Gh¢4,422,348,243 for the Ministry of Health for the year ending 31st December 2018.


Source: ISD (Eva Frempon-Ntiamoah)