You are here: HomeNews2021 11 29Article 1412149

Business News of Monday, 29 November 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Bring back Agyapa royalties deal – Sly Tetteh

MP for Bortianor-Ngleshie-Amanfrom, Sylvester Tetteh MP for Bortianor-Ngleshie-Amanfrom, Sylvester Tetteh

There's no money for development, MP

Hurry up with the process of Agyapa deal, Sly to government

Agyapa deal withdrawn from parliament

Member of Parliament for Bortianor-Ngleshie-Amanfrom, Sylvester Tetteh, has averred that the reason Ghana does not witness developmental projects is due to the unavailability of money.

To address the infrastructure deficit and others, Mr Tetteh is calling for the return of the controversial Agyapa royalties deal in parliament for approval.

The royalties deal is to monetize Ghana’s mineral resources for infrastructure development.

Sylvester Tetteh called on the government to fasten the process of amending some parts of the royalties deal after it was withdrawn from parliament last year and be brought back to the House for deliberations.

Speaking on the floor of parliament after the 2022 budget reading by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, the Member of Parliament for Bortianor-Ngleshie-Amanfrom, said, “Mr. Speaker, all of us here want development in our constituencies, but we forget that there is no money for such, that is why the Agyapa deal should be brought back again to this house for approval so we can fund critical projects in the country."

"Mr. Speaker, l will urge the President of the Republic to hurry up with the Agyapa Deal so we will get money to develop this country,” he added.

Foundations of the deal

The deal started in June 2018 when parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund (Act 2018) to manage the equity interests in mining companies and also receive royalties on behalf of the Government of Ghana.

The Minerals Income Investment Fund is mandated to manage and invest these royalties and revenue it receives on behalf of Ghana and invest them for higher returns.

To do this, the law enables the Fund to establish Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to appropriate these investments.



Amendment

In July 2020, the government introduced an amendment to the Act to ensure that the SPVs that the fund would establish to manage investments get unrestricted independence.

On the back of the amendment and the original provisions of the act, the Minerals Income Investment Fund set up an offshore limited liability company known as Agyapa Royalties Limited (previously Asaase Royalties Limited).

The Agyapa Royalties Ltd is incorporated in Bailieick of Jersey in the UK, a tax haven. It has been incorporated in a tax haven to cut out the associated high tax charges to the returns that will accrue to the state from the investments.

Agyapa Royalties Limited is registered in Ghana as an external company.

How Agyapa Royalties will operate

- Agyapa Royalties Limited will trade shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange for the private market.

- Mineral Income Investment Fund will remain the majority shareholder.

- ARL will raise between $500 million and $750 million for government to use for developmental initiatives – the government has revealed the four key areas of investment will be education expenditure, primary capital, health and infrastructural development.

- Future resources from gold royalties will go to ARL shareholders instead of the Mineral Investment Fund and for that matter government. Essentially, the government is mortgaging expected royalties from gold in exchange for about $500 million – $750 million from ARL.

Controversy

The main controversy over the deal is linked with the initial name for the SPV, Asaase Royalties. It has been alleged that some powerful people in current government-owned Asaase Royalties and the name was changed quickly when the cover was blown.

The identities of the top management of Agyapa Royalties, like the son of Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has also been a source of controversy.

Join our Newsletter