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General News of Friday, 22 January 2021

Source: 3 News

Bad Agyapa deal blemished competent Ofori-Atta’s reputation – Franklin Cudjoe

Founding President of Imani Africa, Mr Franklin Cudjoe has rated the performance of Mr Ken Ofori-Atta 65 per cent as Finance Minister in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s first term.

He, however, said there were a few transactional agreements that were introduced by Mr Ofori-Atta on behalf of the Government of Ghana which was bad for the country.

These agreements, he said, stained the reputation of Mr Ofori-Atta.

Contributing to a discussion on TV3’s Key Points on Saturday, January 16 in relation to the impending ministerial appointments to be done by President Akufo-Addo, Mr Cudjoe said the overall performance of Mr Ofori Atta was remarkable.

He told host of the programme Abena Tabi that before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana the local economy was doing well due to the hard work done by the Finance Minister.

“There are few notables that the president cannot do without and loyalty is key. [The President] is also looking at technical competence and the finance minister is obviously one of them.

“There are many hanging swords around the Finance Minister’s neck. The likes of PDS and Agyapa Kelni.

“These are notable badly done deals that unfortunately haven’t led to some good legacies of the Finance Minister.

“Having said that though, you can’t take from him the fact that he is technically competent. The macroeconomic indicators were looking better up until we had Covid.

“I am sure he himself has had some remorseful moment to look back and say: Can Agyapa be done differently? Can you probably change the name and then making sure that you bring it back to the table in a manner that is very conciliatorily, that everybody’s views are well addressed and all of that.

“Knowing the Finance Minister, when he wants to do something he goes ahead to do it but with these three incidents, I have given him some moments to reflect on them.

“I think he must have done about 60 to 65 per cent well per my analysis, and so, if he is given the nod he must ensure that he is leaving a better name than he left the last four years in office.”

Background

Ghana’s legislature approved the controversial Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement Friday, August 14, 2020, despite a protest from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmakers.

Based on the agreement, Agyapa Royalties Limited (ARL) will trade shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange for private people to buy. But the Mineral Income Investment Fund (MIIF) will remain the majority shareholder.

The NDC MPs said the deal made it impossible for a future government to replace managers of Agyapa Royalties Limited although the Minerals Income Investment Fund will remain the majority shareholder.

The Presidential Candidate of the NDC, John Dramani Mahama, questioned the deal and he was not going to recognize it in case he won the elections last year

A group of CSOs led by Dr. Steve Manteaw, Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, noted that the government of Ghana and Parliament rushed in approving the controversial Agyapa Royalties agreement.

Following a corruption risk assessment done on the deal by the former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo ordered the Finance Minister to return the deal to Parliament for further deliberations on it.

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