According to insider information, the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has initiated an inquiry into a number of government officials and individuals from the private sector in connection with the Sinihydro deal worth $2 billion. The investigation by the OSP is focused on suspicions of corruption and other associated matters that have marred the negotiation process and subsequent aspects of the deal.
Among the individuals expected to be summoned for questioning, prominent figures include William Oppong-Bio, the Executive Chairman of Supercare Group, Edward Boateng, the former Ghanaian Ambassador to China, and Isaac Ofori-Poku, the Board Chair of Ghana Bauxite Company (GBC). These individuals, as per the source, played significant roles in the negotiation and other related procedures that facilitated the establishment of the barter deal with the Chinese.
Many of the individuals mentioned are primarily known as sponsors and backers of Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, the Assin Central legislator and a potential flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The underlying cases that prompted this investigation have yet to be revealed.
Several road infrastructure projects funded through this deal have experienced delays since last year. Earlier this year, it was reported that ongoing projects associated with the deal had been suspended as a result of the government’s negotiations for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This recent development provides a plausible reason to suspect that the ongoing investigation may have played a role in the temporary suspension of the Sinohydro projects.
In 2018, Ghana entered into a memorandum with China to explore its bauxite reserves, which are the primary source of aluminium.
The resulting barter trade deal involves exchanging alumina, processed from Ghana’s bauxite deposits, for a $2 billion facility from Sinohydro Group Limited to support infrastructural development.
As per the memorandum, Ghana will allocate 5% of its bauxite resources to China, while Beijing will finance $2 billion worth of infrastructure projects, including the construction of railways, roads, and bridges.
Additionally, the agreement includes a $10 billion project dedicated to expanding the mining, industrial, and railway sectors, along with the establishment of a bauxite processing factory.