Prez Mahama inaugurates GIF advisory committee

President John Dramani Mahama Wednesday inaugurated a six-member advisory committee of the Ghana Infrastructure Fund (GIF) at the Flagstaff House with a charge to the committee to work hard to address the country’s infrastructure deficit.

He said Ghana’s current infrastructure deficit of between $1.2 billion and $ 1.5 billion needed to be tackled head-on and expressed confidence in the committee’s ability to work assiduously to tackle the challenge.

The committee would, among others, prepare the fund’s take-off.

The members of the committee include: Mr Ato Ahwoi, Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation;  Mr Lionel Van Lare Oslo, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ecobank Ghana; Mr Tenu Awoonor, an investment banker; Madam Hannah Amoateng, an Economic Consultant; Dr Emmanuel Oteng Kumah, Economic Consultant, and Mr Seth Tekper, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.

Genesis of the fund
During the presentation of the 2014 Budget Statement to Parliament, the finance minister announced the government’s decision to set up the GIF to deal with the huge infrastructure deficit.

The fund will focus on strategic infrastructure that can result in job creation and propel the growth of the economy and operate in partnership with the private sector. Potential sources of funds include appropriations by Parliament, escrowed and in-lent funds from prior investments, and foreign funds from multilateral institutions and development banks.

President Mahama said the committee would report regularly to the Cabinet as preparations for its launch went ahead and indicated that the government was determined to adopt noble ways of fixing the infrastructure challenge of the nation.

Mr Ahwoi responds
Speaking on behalf of the committee, Mr Ahwoi promised that members would work to the best of their ability to support the President realise his laudable vision for the nation.

“We want to see infrastructure development progress and we would not fail you ( President) and the nation,” he assured.

Mr Ahwoi said they would use four months to draw a programme of action for the fund’s take-off.

He said similar funds had been successful in countries like South Africa and South Korea and expressed optimism that Ghana would also get there.

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