Gov’t asked to suspend Agyapa Mineral Royalties agreement

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Some 15 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are demanding a suspension of the Agyapa Minerals Royalties agreement until all necessary documents have been disclosed.

They are concerned about what they describe as a lack of openness and transparency that has characterised the transaction.

The group under the banner name ‘Alliance of CSOs working on Extractives, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance’ are calling for a multi-stakeholder conference to re-look at the deal.

“Just last week, we sighted a call for an expression of interest placed in the Daily Graphic inviting prospective consultants for the development of a strategic plan for the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF).

“While we welcome the open and transparent process for selection relative to this particular assignment, we have no evidence of the same openness in the creation of the Special Purpose Vehicle in the Agyapa deal and the appointment of its directors”, Dr. Steve Manteaw, the Communications Director of Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) said on behalf of the group.

At a press briefing held in Accra Tuesday, the CSOs also alleged that although efforts are being made to justify the deal by the governing government, some political appointees, and the MIIF Secretariat, numerous concerns are yet to be addressed.

“We acknowledge that post mortem attempts are being made to engage the public by the MIIF secretariat to provide answers to some questions Ghanaians have on the agyapa transactions.

“This in fact underscores the point that prior engagement would have better served the national interest.

“But regardless of the attempt to clarify some concerns, significant questions remain unanswered. Are the managers and directors of Agyapa not politically exposed people? And were they not selected through an uncompetitive process?

“Again, it beats our imagination as to why an entity without a corporate strategy and approved funding plans will proceed to raise one billion dollars and give $500 million to the government in such an indecent deal especially when there is no known emergency to warrant such rush,” Dr Manteaw said.

The demand by the CSOs follows similar ones made by members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its flagbearer John Dramani Mahama.

Already, the former President says his “government will not respect the deal” which according to him was shrouded in secrecy should the NDC regain power in 2021.

Mr Mahama argued that “the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) could have played the same role of Agyapa if the Akufo-Addo led government wanted to be transparent.”

Social media has been hit with series of debates on the Agyapa Minerals Royalties deal since Parliament approved it on August 14.

The agreement said to be in line with the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act, 2018 (Act 978), was passed without support from the Minority in Parliament.

The new agreement will enable the country to use a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Agyapa Royalties Limited, to secure about $1 billion to finance large infrastructural projects.

This is because, Agyapa, operating as an independent private sector entity, will be able to raise funds from the capital market, both locally and internationally, as an alternative to the conventional debt capital market transactions.

The funds, which are expected to be raised from the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE), will be a long-term capital, without a corresponding increase in Ghana’s total debt stock.

Source: myjoyonline.com

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