Frozen account

Wednesday 15 February 2006

Access to profits questioned<s The World Bank (wb) has frozen Chad's oil pipeline account claiming that it violated a loan agreement. The wb was angry with a new law giving the Chad government more access to profits from the pipeline, which takes oil to Cameroon for exports. Some of the profits are to be kept aside for fighting poverty. The bank had lent Chad more than us $39 million for the Chad-Cameroon pipeline on condition that the non-government groups would check the use of its oil revenues.

Chad's finance minister Abbas Mahamat Tolli called the bank's move "totally unjustified". He added, "It is unacceptable that a nation should have its access to revenues from selling its natural resources blocked." President Idriss Deby had passed the law despite earlier suspension of wb loans worth us $124 million. He said some of the oil money was needed to improve the health and education facilities.

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