The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has downplayed fears, that ongoing public criticism and opposition to the Agyapa Royalties deal could scare aware potential investors.
The agreement has for the past weeks sparked controversy among different groups in the country, with some Civil Society groups in the extractives sector describing the Special Purpose Vehicle that has been created as part of the deal, as one which is not transparent and must be suspended.
But Mr. Ofori-Atta speaking in a yet-to-be aired interview on Citi TV’s Point of View, explained that investors are savvy enough to appreciate the importance of constructive debate on a deal as important as the Agyapa Royalties Deal.
“For me, I don’t look at the criticism as noises. I feel that the market is sophisticated enough outside to understand that there will be deferring opinions. The vibrancy of democracy for people to challenge what you want to do, gives you an opinion you may not have been aware of, but still being clear on where you want to go, is something that strengthens our democracy. It also potentially sends a signal out there that Ghana’s good governance issues are good.”
Government engaging CSOs to activate Agyapa Royalties deal – Hadzide
Government says it has begun engaging stakeholders and Civil Society Organizations in the minerals sector in a bid to activate applicable portions of the Minerals Income Investment Fund ACT, 2018 (as amended), as part of the implementation process of the Agyapa Royalties deal.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, stated that the deal, among other things, has several shortcomings in terms of constitutional requirements and reeks of corruption, an allegation government has refuted vehemently.
Addressing a media briefing on Thursday 3rd September 2020, a Deputy Minister for Information, Pius Enam Hadzide, strongly negated claims by the Minority and stressed that government under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo will not engage in any practice that will come at a loss to the nation.
According to Mr. Hadzide, Government’s swift action to address the concerns of Ghanaians regarding the Agyapa Royalties deal is a clear testament of a listening government.
“It is noteworthy that Government’s engagement with CSOs may have helped clarify some misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding the deal,” Mr. Hadzide noted.
Mr. Hadzide further stated that government is keen on bringing all citizens of this nation along with it, as it embarks on the journey of adding value to the country’s numerous natural resources and leverage the country’s assets for a better tomorrow.
“Government has the welfare of Ghanaians gravely at heart and all its efforts are directed towards securing the future of the people. Government shall continue to work in the best interest of the Ghanaian people, use our nation’s resources to leverage our assets for tomorrow, and that government continues to keep its eyes on the ball,” Mr. Hadzide stressed.
The Agyapa Deal
Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018, which establishes the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies and receive royalties on behalf of the government.
The Fund is to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country.
The government then, through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), set up Agyapa Royalties Limited to monetise Ghana’s gold royalties.
This was after Parliament on August 14, approved the Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement with the government of Ghana despite the walkout by the Minority.
In exchange, the company plans to raise between $500 million and $750 million for the Government on the Ghana and London Stock exchanges to invest in developmental projects.