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Business News of Wednesday, 24 November 2021


Minority won’t accept Agyapa deal in any form – Adongo

Isaac Adongo, NDC Member of Parliament for the Bolgatanga Central Constituency Isaac Adongo, NDC Member of Parliament for the Bolgatanga Central Constituency

Bolgatanga Central Member of Parliament, Isaac Adongo served notice that the Minority in parliament will not accept the Agyapa deal in spite of any readjustment made to the agreement

In his view, the transaction does not inure to the benefit of Ghanaians hence, the decision by the Minority to oppose it.

“Agyapa by whatever shape will not be tolerated by us,” he said on Tuesday, November 23 while contributing to a debate on the 2022 budget statement presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta had earlier announced on Tuesday, October 12 that the Agyapa Transaction would return to Parliament.

He told journalists that the “Attorney General has looked at the agreement” hence the decision to return the deal.

“The Attorney General has looked at it, we have had a few stakeholder meetings. I think the new board should be energized to review that and then go through the Parliamentary process.

“I am unequivocal that it is the way to go in terms of monetizing our minerals and finding a way to the level of debt that the country has,” he said after inaugurating the new board of the Ghana Minerals Income Investment Fund,” he said.

The agreement, which was approved by the Seventh Parliament on Friday, August 14, 2020, had to be withdrawn after a corruption-risk assessment was conducted by the then Special Prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Amidu.

Resigning a few days afterward, the Special Prosecutor accused President Akufo-Addo of interfering in his assessment on the deal under the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, 2018 (Act 978).

“The reaction I received for daring to produce the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption report convinces me beyond any reasonable doubt that I was not intended to exercise any independence as the Special Prosecutor in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and recovery of assets of corruption,” Mr Amidu said in his resignation letter to the president.

The Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, replied to the resignation letter and said a mere meeting between the president and a Special Prosecutor cannot be said to be interference.

“Your accusation of interference with your functions simply on account of the meeting the president held with you is perplexing. In exercise of what you considered to be your powers under Act 959, you had voluntarily proceeded to produce the Agyapa Report".

“The president had no hand in your work. Without prompting from any quarter within the Executive, you delivered a letter purporting to be a copy of your report to the president".

“The purpose of presenting a copy of the Agyapa report to the president is decipherable from paragraph 32 of your letter to the president in which you indicated that you hoped the report will be ‘used to improve current and future legislative and executive actions to make corruption and corruption-related offenses very high-risk enterprise in Ghana’.”

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) also rejected the previous agreement when it was first introduced on the floor of parliament.

Ghana’s legislature approved the controversial agreement on Friday, August 14 despite a protest from the Minority.

A group of CSOs led by Dr. Steve Manteaw noted that the government of Ghana and Parliament rushed in approving the agreement.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, August 25, Dr Manteaw said: “What we are telling government is let’s slow down…let’s have more transparency, more consensus building around the approach before we go forward with the approach".

“I don’t know of any national emergency that warrants that we should rush the process to raise funds for development.”

On Tuesday, March 9, President Akufo-Addo hinted at sending the deal back to Parliament for reconsideration.

In his first state-of-the-nation address to that Parliament on Tuesday, March 9, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said “in the course of this session of Parliament, Government will come back to engage the House on the steps it intends to take on the future of the Agyapa transaction”.

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