China in diplomatic row with Ghana over StarTime abrogation – MP

ghachiMember of Parliament for Okaikoi Central Patrick Boamah is pointing to a serious diplomatic row between Ghana and the Chinese government over the abrogation of the StarTimes contract.That row he suspects is the reason for a rejection of a loan application submitted by Ghana for the construction of three major roads.

Joy News has intercepted a letter written to the Finance Minister Seth Terkper in which the Chinese government refused to fund a loan application for three major roads across the country.

The three road projects were the Accra Outer ring road project; the Mankessim-Agona Swedru-Nsawam Road Re-construction project and the Dodowa-Kpong & Somanya Akuse Junction Road Re-Construction project.

But the Chinese concluded that these projects for which the loan was being contracted were not viable enough to repay the loan by themselves.

Granting that loan application will only lead to a deepening debt crisis the letter pointed out.

The Project Manager at the Chinese Bank advised the Ghana government to explore other funding opportunities if it still wants to go ahead with the projects.

Reacting to the content of the letter, The Okaikoi Central MP said the tone of the Chinese suggested there was more to it than just the reasons given in the letter.

According to him, his own investigations suggest the abrogation of StarTime contract for the implementation of the Digital Migration regime is the reason behind the strong loan rejection by the Chinese.

StarTime, a Chinese company had its contract to supply and install the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) network platform for Ghana abrogated by the Ghana government. Instead K-net, a wholly owned Ghanaian company was given the contract.

Patrick Boamah smells a possible conflict of interest situation in the contract award to K-net because the Deputy Communications Minister, Ato Sarpong was first an employee of K-net prior to his appointment into government.

He has however tasked the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance to investigate the possible diplomatic row between the Chinese government and the Ghana government.