Equipping technical varsities .US$119m loan agreement approved .US$20m tax waiver for Chinese contractors

The Parliamentary Select Committee on Education has recommended the House approve a tax waiver amounting to US$27milllion for the EXIM Bank of China Loan Agreement that seeks to import equipment for the upgrading and rehabilitation of technical universities.

The loan agreement between the government of Ghana and Export and Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank) for US$119million is to finance the purchase of equipment for technical universities in the country.

The Committee noted in its report that as part of the employer’s obligation for the work, clause 2.7 of the agreement provides that: “The employer shall be responsible for Customs clearance of the equipment and materials under this agreement for the project; as well as for payment of any taxes, duties and other levies relating to importation of the equipment and materials under this agreement for the project”.

It further provides in clause 4.2.1 that: “Any and all taxes and duties on the consideration of this contract and all other presently or hereafter existing taxes and duties, which may be assessed or imposed in Ghana upon the contractor or in the performance of the agreement, shall be borne and paid by the employer or fully reimbursed by the employer”.

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It was however explained to the Committee that the government of Ghana is fully responsible for the project financing cost component covering taxes and other fiscal levies, which may be imposed in the Republic of Ghana with respect to the supply and purchase of materials and equipment required for execution of the project.

Already, Parliament has approved the US$119million loan agreement between government and EXIM Bank of China to finance the rehabilitation of equipment in technical universities.

Three years after their conversion from polytechnics, technical universities have not seen any major changes except their name

In 2016, when they were converted, they did not waste time at all in rebranding – as a visitor to any one of them is immediately reminded in bold print at the entrance that the term polytechnic is no longer applicable.

Beyond the facade of newness, however, lies remnants of decay – machines whose movable parts have long ceased to move, or machines that are not relevant to the training needs of students being prepared for today’s fast-paced, automated industrial environment.

However, these technical universities need not worry anymore, as a loan agreement between government and the EXIM Bank of China has finally received approval from Parliament.

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