Government is close to awarding China State Housing Company the contract to build the new chamber block of Ghana’s Parliament, Speaker of Parliament Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye has disclosed.
According to the Speaker, the likelihood of such a decision was reinforced during president Akufo-Addo’s visit to China recently.
“We are looking forward to their working as contractors further on this compound, one with regard to the new chamber that we are working on; and secondly, what we want to describe as the Parliamentary enclave,” the Speaker of Parliament said when the new Chinese Ambassador, Shi Ting Wang, paid a courtesy call on him at Parliament House on Wednesday.
Furthermore, the Speaker indicated that it is the vision of Parliament’s leadership to develop an ultra-modern parliamentary enclave, and will be counting on China State Housing Company (CSHC) for support.
The CSHC helped complete the ‘Job 600’ building that currently serves as offices for Members of Parliament.
He explained: “They are very much involved in this particular thing; in fact, when the president travelled recently to China, he met their global president to discuss that aspect of our development – at the instance of Parliament that the president should do so and help negotiate the best terms for us”.
The Speaker revealed that he held similar discussions with the former Chinese ambassador to Ghana for their assistance.
“So, today we are looking at China State Housing and considering a soft facility, which l discussed personally with your predecessor [who left recently]. We hope we will work toward that, and our government is so committed it has already committed funds to the initial project. We are looking forward to Chinese participation so that this particular project will see the light of day,” he added.
On his part, the Chinese Ambassador, Mr. Shi Ting Wang, indicated that he hopes his visit to Parliament will push relations to a new height, and he is ready to assist Ghana in its developmental agenda.
“We have done a lot in the past and we will do more in the future,” he said.
He also stated that China is committed to the president’s policy initiatives of One District One Factory, One village One dam, and Ghana beyond aid.
However, he bemoaned the rate at which some Ghanaians forge documents to obtain China visas and called for collaboration between the two countries to curb the phenomenon.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, praised the amicable relations between the two countries and indicated that there is particularly an infrastructure gap in Ghana, and urged China to assist in that regard.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, appealed to China for support to parliament with fibre-optic and advanced broadband, to enable the precincts of parliament to benefit from faster Internet connection.