finance minister presents budget in parliament

Parliament has approved an 86-million-dollar loan facility from the Israeli Discount Bank for the purchase of armoured vehicles for the Ghana Armed Forces but not without the usual brouhaha that surrounds such agreements.

The minority in parliament has raised concerns of the house not being furnished with enough details on the loan.

Per details available, $80 million of the amount will go to Elbit Systems Land Limited of Israel for the supply of the armoured vehicles while the rest goes to firms arranging the facility and other associated costs.

Earlier, the Minority requested that the approval be done in camera because they had concerns they did not want to raise in public for security reasons.

But Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said a backroom conversation had gone on to allow for the approval to be done in public cautioned the MPs to be measured in their comments.

Some of the concerns eventually came up as National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament on the Finance Committee, Richard Acheampong described the loan as an expensive one.

Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarack also raised issues with the purchase of the armoured vehicles from Israel.

He noted that it would  be difficult for such vehicles to be used for international peace keeping operations in countries where even Israeli visas in ones passport were not allowed. 

But, Defence Minister, Domnic Nitiwul has assured that there will be value for money in the purchase.