The government is seeking Public Private Partnership (PPP) to finance the construction of five key infrastructure projects in the country, the Director of the Public Investment Division (PID) of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), Mrs Magdalene Apenteng has announced.
They are the rehabilitation and expansion of the Tema and Takoradi ports, construction of Korle Bu Diagnostic Center, and the conversion of the Accra Takoradi road into a dual carriageway.
Mrs Apenteng who disclosed this sensitisation workshop on PPP for journalists in Accra said, the move was in line with the government’s policy to use private capital to finance infrastructure projects and services in the country.
In view of the growing difficulty and high cost in raising capital to finance key public infrastructure projects, government in 2011 launched a PPP policy to seek private capital in the development of the country.
The objective of the PPP, among other things, is to leverage assets and funds with private resources from local and international markets to accelerate needed investments in infrastructure and services.
It is also to encourage and promote indigenous Ghanaian private sector participation in the delivery of public infrastructure and services.
Hitherto government had been depending on its own revenue resources to finance infrastructure projects and services, making it difficult to expand and improve on those facilities.
The Director of the PID expatiating on the expansion of the Takoradi Port Said currently feasibility studies were being carried out on the project, saying the studies would help to ascertain the cost of the project.
The feasibility studies, Mrs Apenteng said, would be completed in early next year.
Asked about the cost of the Takoradi port expansion project, the Director of PID replied that could be determined after the feasibility studies, but said for the port to meet international standard to attract big oil tankers to lift more oil cargoes, about $300 million would be needed for the project.
''The five projects are not the only ones we are looking to construct with private capital,'' she stated and said '' in the long term government want to use Infrastructural Finance Facility under the PPP to finance infrastructure projects and services such as the expansion of the Accra, Takoradi, Kumasi and Temale ports,'' she said.
The IFF initiative, she said, would implement in the next two years.
Government, she said, intends to establish a 100-million fund to raise capital to match up with private sector capital in financing state projects, adding that fund would support the private sector to finance their projects.
''Sources of funding will be drawn from the World Bank, the consolidated fund, the bond market and other capital markets,'' Mrs Apenteng said.
The PID stressed the need for the bond market to be strengthened to provide long term capital for the government and private sector.
‘‘Government and the private sector need seven to twenty years bond to raise capital to finance their infrastructure projects and services,'' Mrs Apenteng stated, ''adding has done it and Ghana can also do the same.''
She said, a PPP law was being drafted to give legal backing to the policy, and also guidelines had been developed to help implement the policy.
The Chief Director of MOFEP, Mr Enoch Herman Cobbina in a speech read on his behalf said Ghana was currently faced with a huge infrastructural gap and the country would need $1.5 billion per annum in the next decade to bring the nation's infrastructure to the recommended level of a middle income status.
He said the constraints of available resources provided the government with the avenue to look for innovate and alternative sources of financing and procuring those projects and thereby expedite the delivery of the required infrastructure.