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General News of Sunday, 30 August 2020


Agyapa Royalties agreement has no effective operational term – Bright Simons

Bright Simons, Honorary Vice President of IMANI-Africa Bright Simons, Honorary Vice President of IMANI-Africa

Bright Simons of IMANI Africa says the Agyapa Royalties Limited agreement is without any effective operational term during which it remains valid.

He explained his position on Newsfile on Joy FM on Saturday: “The fact that the term is not in there definitely is beyond dispute and debate. In the final agreement, the beneficiary, in this case, Agyapa, still has the capability to a successor agreement and renewal leases to be considered as part of the original term.”

According to Simons, the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were surprised to read that Gloria Akuffo, the Attorney General, has abandoned the official advice to the Finance Minister after their meeting.

The Attorney General had described the deal as “onerous”, “unconscionable”, and a “violation of the Bank of Ghana Act” but later changed her position after several meetings with lawyers.

“The life of the lease incorporates renewals, replacements etc…which was the point that our own advisors had raised even before we saw the Attorney General’s document. We were surprised that the Attorney General will abandon that line of advice because we think it critical,” he said.

Simons, who is Honorary Vice President of IMANI-Africa noted that the government’s discretion and other factors could make it last for a long time.

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