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General News of Saturday, 29 August 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Call by 15 CSOs to suspend Agyapa deal came too late, ‘not realistic’ – Baako

Abdul Malik Kweku Baako is a respected journalist Abdul Malik Kweku Baako is a respected journalist

Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, has said the call by some 15 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal to be suspended has come a little too late.

The renowned journalist said although he supports the work of CSOs and the advocacy for transparency that they have launched, they waited too long to do that.

“I support CSOs calling for a review of the agreement and pushing for engagement and consultation. The problem is when that call was made, where we have reached…the Parliament had approved the agreement. I am not sure the call to suspend the agreement was realistic. It was not going to happen,” he said on Saturday, August 29, 2020.

He made the comment as part of a discussion on the controversial deal hosted by Joy News.

On Tuesday, August 25, 2020, some 15 Civil CSOs called for the suspension of the Agyapa agreement until all necessary documents have been disclosed.

The CSOs fronting under the name, ‘Alliance of CSOs working on Extractives, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance’ say they are concerned about a lack of openness and transparency that has characterised the transaction.

Speaking on behalf the group, Dr Steve Manteaw said, “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.”

But Kweku Baaku said during the discussion on the matter that, “the call for reversal, in my candid opinion, is not feasible.”

He said having read the advice given by the Attorney-General’s office on the deal and the documents involved, he finds it difficult to buy into the suspicions over the deal.

The Agyapa Royalties deal, according to government, is part of its strategy to beat the long-standing problem of lack of capital for developmental projects.

Agyapa Royalties Limited is expected to trade shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange for the private market.

But some details of the deal has been described as problematic and lacks transparency.



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