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Business News of Sunday, 30 August 2020


Agyapa Royalties deal: Account for GH¢1.5 billion oil money first - CSOs to govt

Dr Steve Manteaw play videoDr Steve Manteaw

Former Chairman of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), Dr Steve Manteaw says the Alliance of Civil Society Organisations working on Extractive, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance, of which he chairs, cannot agree to the Agyapa Royalties deal due to government’s inability to account for the Ghc1.5 billion oil money.

According to him, government's inability to account for the oil money since 2017 makes it impossible for the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to side with the former or trust the Agyapa Royalties deal.

“There are huge transparency issues that needs to be addressed. A government that is asking us to give up our royalties from mineral resources for loans in order to develop country but has not been able to account for GH¢1.5 billion from the Oil Fund we gave them since 2017. We don’t know what that amount has been used for, they keep telling us that the money is there but when we ask for evidence, they fail to produce it”, he stated.

Speaking on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, Dr. Steve Manteaw accused government of shifting the goal posts whenever the issue of accountability of the oil money comes up.

“They told us that they will account for it in the next year budget in 2018 but it was not accounted for in that budget. We have been back and forth on this oil fund issue up to 2020 and the government has not been able to account for the GH¢1.5 billion Cedis for all these while”.

“This same government is saying again that we should give them our minerals royalties to secure loans for the development in the country. What makes it dangerous is that if you look at the Mineral Income Investment Fund Act upon which they want to use our royalties, there is no transparency and accountability provision in the deal”, he said.

He however wondered how the Agyapa Royalties deal will turn out should the country go ahead with the transaction as there is no transparency and accountability.