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Parliament ratifies over $3billion financing agreement

September 21, 2017 By Jariatu S. Bangura

Members of Parliament yesterday unanimously ratified two Articles of Association, Africa 50 financing projects and an additional financing agreement for the public financial management improvement and consolidation project.

The agreements includes a special status financial company with an authorized share capital of three billion dollars and an issued share capital of six hundred and thirty-two million, two hundred and twenty -three thousand dollars, five hundred million United State dollars, plus  share capital of seven hundred and ninety- one thousand United State dollars.

They also ratified an African Development Bank additional financing agreement for the public financial management improvement and consolidation project, amounting to ten million dollars.

In his presentation, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Momoh Vandi, said the Africa 50 is an innovative platform developed  by the African Development Bank two years ago for the transformation in infrastructure development and financing in Africa.

He said the initiative  was incorporated in Casablanca and that it is legally and financially independent, adding that the objective was to contribute to the sustainable economic and social development of Africa through becoming the leading strategic investor in commercially viable and financially attractive public private partnership infrastructure projects.

He said the agreement would increase the number of bankable private and public infrastructure, raising significant capital from public and private sources, with private funds significantly exceeding public funds over time and tapping long term saving from within and outside the continent by creating an asset class attractive to institutional investors.

Minister Vandi said  the Africa 50 is in unique position to facilitate the infrastructure development, since it is financed and supported by its African shareholders’  government and ADB.

“It can act as a bridge between the public and private sectors, helping to eliminate bottlenecks from both private project and public private partnership, speeding up project implementations. Tough economic times should be an impetus for action rather than a brake. Since most infrastructure projects have both a long development phase and a long lifespan, the vagaries of economic or commodity cycle cannot be allowed to influence action,” he said.

However, for the additional agreement, he said parliament in 2014 ratified 12million dollars to Co -finance the implementation of the public financial management improvement and consolidation Project, hence the 10million dollars to continue the implementation.

He continued that the objective of the public financial management improvement projects is to improve the budget planning and credibility, financial, control, accountability and oversight in government finances in the country.

“The project is strategically relevant to the overall budget process, procurement, public financial management, taxation, oversight and accountability system,” he said.

He added that the additional budget would be needed as it will cover the financing gap created in the original project due to exit of key donor partners from the project.

“It would improve revenue accounting systems within the NRA, greater openness and use of open and big data for enhanced development result. These activities will in general improve public engagement and oversight which will contribute to the overall objective of enhancing fiscal discipline, strategic allocation of resources and efficient service delivery,” he said.

He said the principal amount will be repaid over a period of thirty years in sixty-four semiannual installation after a grace period of six years, commencing from the date of the agreement.

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