request for Ghana to join and subscribe to shares in the Africa Finance Corporation for a minimum amount of fifty million United States dollars ($50,000,000.00).
Mr Speaker, this is a very important Report that we are looking at. Those of us who know a bit about it, it did not just start today. I recall that when I was in the Ministry, discussions had started on this matter. And it is essential, an initiative that has arisen out of discussions held between particularly Ghana and Nigeria and the West African States on the need to get an African institution to support infrastructural development in Africa.
We know that groups like the African Development Bank (ADB) and others do this but there are very few strong investment firms or financial institutions in Africa that do this. So, the Nigerian Government, to complement the work of ADB and others, decided to strongly support this initiative and contributed immensely to the setting up.
Ghana has had the discussions, they have done the due diligence and now we are in a position, I believe that we can, at least, ratify the Charter Agreement and then subsequently, as the Committee is recommending, take steps to subscribe to the fifty million shares that are required.
Mr Speaker, if you look at the Committee's Report, you will notice that even though we have not ratified and therefore, not subscribed to the shares, Ghana is already a beneficiary of the efforts of the institution. I am talking particularly on the Greenfield, IPP in Ghana, as well as the Jubilee Fields that is about to be put into production and you will notice in the Committee's Report that other nations are benefiting. It is my considered opinion that if and when Ghana is able to subscribe to the shares, we are likely to benefit for more investment
projects in Ghana.
What is equally important is for Hon Members to note that maybe, it is not captured in the Committee's Report, at this particular juncture, some of the key personnel of that institution are Ghanaians. As a matter of fact, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer is a Ghanaian and the Vice-President and senior Counsel who happens to be in our midst today, Miss Naana Eshun is also a Ghanaian. So, already, even without subscribing, Ghana has at least, five senior officials.
I suspect that if we do subscribe, first and foremost, we will get, probably, a seat on the Board when we have paid up the fifty million, but maybe, other more important appointments can be made. Who knows, maybe, the CEO will then become a Ghanaian.
The House did not get all copies of the documentation that was given to us, but if you look at one of the documentations and you look at the corporate structure, you will realize that it is well structured. Very seasoned Africans from all over, predominantly an African-dominated management from all over Africa -- from South Africa, I have already mentioned Ghana, Mr Asamoah, Miss Eshun, et cetera.
I think that among the West African States, even the smaller ones, I mean those smaller than Ghana, have already ratified the Charter and the amendments. I am talking about Sierra Leone and Liberia; Ghana being so-called “big power player” in West Africa, I think we ought to, at least, ratify it and begin to see how much more benefits we can make.
Obviously, it will not be easy to get all the fifty million dollars upfront, but as was indicated in the Cabinet Memorandum, it is quite possible that a combination of
SSNIT and Government itself could be used for us to acquire these shares.
Clearly, it is a PPP profit making firm, it is not a non-profit organization, all the infrastructure is needed. We keep talking about oil money being used to do infrastructure. Well, if we are able to subscribe fifty million dollars, I think that we will be able to get much more than the fifty million dollars and we will also be earning decent profit from this investment.
With those few words, I urge Hon Members to first and foremost, adopt the Resolution to ratify, and strongly encourage the Government to quickly seek funds to subscribe to the fifty million dollar shares.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang
(NPP - New Juaben North): Mr Speaker, I think it is a very good initiative but I have a lot of difficulty in some of the aspects of it. It is good that they have decoupled the ratification and the subsequent subscription of fifty million dollars to the bank.
Mr Speaker, we are not told that this Bank will give concessionary loans or investment facilities. I do not see it anywhere and so I see absolutely no reason we should confer on it tax exemptions and all these exemptions. Ecobank was established as a West African institution; Ecobank has worked, has paid its taxes and has also made profits.
Mr Speaker, people on this continent especially in Ghana, are working for the banks; they are not working for themselves. Those who are in business will know that it is the banks who are