Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance has intimated that the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF), over the years has remained relatively profitable.
According to the Minister, GIIF has had a very productive first four years and now has a portfolio of 12 investments totalling some US$290million.
Mr. Ofori-Atta noted that for each one dollar invested, GIIF has brought in 10 dollars of outside money so currently US$2.9billion would have been invested in Ghana.
“It [GIIF] is also a profitable institution providing a financial return to the government. Furthermore, we are increasingly using GIIF to drive the government’s infrastructure agenda.”Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta
The Minister made this disclosure at the inauguration on a nine-member reconstituted Board of GIIF with Mr Philip Addison as its Chairman and Mr. Solomon Asamoah as its Chief Executive Officer.
At the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Ofori-Atta called on the board to help unlock new sources of finance and investment for the country.
The Finance Minister encouraged them to strategically work closely with other Ghanaian institutions, both public sector and private, to raise the infrastructure investment skills levels and create more jobs.
The Minister said the lack of fully developed infrastructure was one of the major impediments to economic activity and development in the country. Furthermore, “it also negatively affects the quality of life of our people”.
He said, by creating Ghana’s own infrastructure investment vehicle, GIIF, which will mobilize and invest alongside the private sector, the country would have a Ghanaian owned entity to help drive its infrastructure agenda.
Operate GIIF without political interference
Mr Ofori-Atta disclosed the GIIF must continue to be run in the right way with strong corporate governance and without undue political interference in its operations.
This, the Finance Minister averred would enable management to continue to build on the performance of the Fund and take it to the next level.
GIIF, as the Minister revealed, is a billion-dollar infrastructure investment vehicle established by the Government of Ghana to invest and develop infrastructure assets in Ghana.
He noted the government through him, as a supervisor, would continue to provide oversight and strategic direction for the Fund, but day-to-day oversight would rest with the Chairman and the Board.
Also, he stated that the government has been utilizing GIIF’s technical and private sector skills to drive its initiatives such as the refinancing of the expensive debts in the power sector (Power-GIIF); Agenda 111 (Health GIIF) and PPP’s (Accra Tema Motorway).
The Minister disclosed that this has helped to ensure key infrastructure assets remain under Ghanaian ownership and control and reduced reliance on foreign investors.
On his part, Mr Philip Addison, Chairman of GIIF, said the importance of helping Ghana address its infrastructure deficits is a vital part of the government’s agenda.
He said both the President and the Minister of Finance frequently stated that unlocking private sector sources of funding for investment in Ghana’s infrastructure were priority areas for them.
“I have seen that GIIF is an important vehicle through which government can drive this agenda.
“We pledge to do our part to help ensure that this institution is well governed and productive in achieving these ends.”Mr Philip Addison
He further noted that, although infrastructure projects by their nature usually take a long time to develop, finance and build, the institution has made excellent progress.