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General News of Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Source: classfmonline.com

Suspend Agyapa Royalties deal – CSOs

Agyapa Royalties has been setup as an SPV in fulfilment of the MIFA Agyapa Royalties has been setup as an SPV in fulfilment of the MIFA

The Alliance of CSOs working on Extractive, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance are calling for the immediate suspension of the controversial Agyapa Royalties Limited agreement with the government of Ghana.

The CSOs say the beneficial ownership of the Special Purpose Vehicle and Agyapa Minerals Royalties should be made public or the implementation of the deal should be deferred.

Parliament last Friday in line with the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act, 2018 (Act 978) approved agreements to allow the country to derive maximum value from its mineral resources and monetise its mineral income accruing to the country in a sustainable and responsible manner.

The move gives Agyapa Royalties Limited, the right to secure about $1 billion to enable government finance large infrastructural projects.

But Chairman of the Alliance of CSOs working on Extractive, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance, Dr Steve Manteaw at a press conference on Tuesday, 25 August 2020, said the deal is not transparent and places Agyapa Royalties above the country’s tax laws.

“The recent amendment of the Minerals Income Investment Fund creates more suspicion. The rushed amendment and inserting worrying clauses including clauses that leaves a special purpose vehicle; Agyapa Royalties above Ghanaian tax laws, outweighs Ghana’s immunity and by that, expose Ghana to the risk of damaging lawsuits should any future government seek to reverse this transaction,” he said.

“What we find even more repulsive about this whole transaction is the provision that permits Agyapa Royalties, a supposed company of the sovereign state, to register in tax payments to borrow money or raise equity in foreign currency from any source on the back of the gold royalties of Ghanaians without the requirement of any further approval, consent and administrative Act of the Government of Ghana. This provision takes Agyapa Royalties away from parliamentary oversight and control”, he added.

Already, the deal has been criticised by many who described it as a way of mortgaging Ghana’s mineral resources.

National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, John Mahama has said the architects of the Agyapa Royalties deal are cronies of President Nana Akufo-Addo and hinted at cancelling the agreement should he win the 7 December 2020 polls.

“If I become president, I will not accept that deal”, he threatened.

According to him, “the people of Ghana do not accept that deal” since, in his view, “it is against the money laundering rules”.

“If you look at the people who put this together, they are people close to the president and already they have been paid two million dollars”, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress claimed.

“This president and his family think they can do anything and get away with it,” Mr Mahama said.

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