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General News of Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

'Hasty' Agyapa deal was completed before amendments to MIIF were passed into law – Haruna Iddrisu

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has said government’s failure to wait for key amendments to be made to the Act that established Agyapa Royalties before completing the controversial deal is enough proof that the deal was rushed.

Speaking at a press conference organised by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Tuesday, August 1, 2020, Mr Iddrisu said the amendments to the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act is yet to receive Presidential assent to make it a law.

“This transaction [Agyapa Royalties agreement] was predicated on a law yet to be assented to, to become law by the President,” he said.

He said in accordance with the 1992 Constitution, the MIIF Act should have been passed into law before the deal was completed.

“So when the NDC in Parliament says an indecent haste [it means] they [NPP government] could not simply wait for the President to assent to the amendment to the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, which forms the basis of this particular transaction,” he said.

Despite a heavy backlash, the government insists on going ahead with the deal that is expected to leverage Ghana’s mineral royalties for primary capital on the international market.



Under the agreement, government intends to monetise parts of its annual gold royalties from some mining concessions to raise $500 million of equity upfront from private investors through the placement of shares in a newly created Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which the State will transfer its royalties into.

Critics of the deal, including at least 15 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), have said the deal lacks transparency.

Speaking at the press conference at the National Democratic Congress’ headquarters, Haruna Iddrisu said Members of Parliament had barely four hours to scrutinise the agreement before it was passed, suggesting that there was a deliberate attempt to hide the shady details within the agreement.

“The Minority in Parliament will like to state unequivocally that a future NDC government will not honour the terms of this unconscionable agreement as described the current Attorney-General [Gloria Akuffo],” he said.

Haruna Iddrisu stated also that although the NDC passed a similar law in 2016, its purpose was to correct the development imbalance and the unacceptable poverty in the mining sector.

But according to him, the current agreement is aimed at enriching a few group of people in the current government.

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