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Business News of Thursday, 27 August 2020


Agyapa deal: We’re being creative in revenue generation - Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, August 27 that the government is being innovative in the generation of revenue for developmental projects with regard to the Agyapa Royalties agreement.

Mr Ofori-Atta said government is in a hurry to fix the developmental challenges facing the country hence the need to use all manner of means within the legal framework to raise revenue.

He said: “We are excited about the listing of Agyapa in London by the end of the year. It creates the first royalty company of that nature in Africa.

“It is really sad that for a country that has been mining gold since the 15th Century with the Portuguese, we still don’t have any international listing company either in gold or even cocoa.

“This must come to an end and we believe this is a strong statement to register Ghana’s presence going forward.

“We need to create structures that allow us to access the funding if we don’t do that we allow ourselves to remain captives of the international companies that take our resources and simply market them to the same groups that we choose to ignore. There are those who say we should be careful not to mortgage yourself today, the gold in the ground for future generations.

“First of all, this is not the case but I have two questions for those who raise these concerns. If it is ok for a foreign investor who goes for searching to sell what is in the ground upfront then why not us?

“But more importantly, why is it ok to borrow today for future and not good to use our resources to leverage ourselves for tomorrow.

“We must be creative to expand our sources for income to support our development. we are in a hurry to catch up. Every year every generation we wait, we keep millions of people and families in the abyss of poverty and sufferings.

“If we want to increase our share of global line, it sometimes means creating new innovative structures and give direct access to the natural resources in a manner that is open and transparent and operate in accordance with laws.”

Ghana’s legislature approved the controversial Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement Friday, August 14 despite a protest from the Minority.

Based on the agreement, Agyapa Royalties Limited (ARL) will trade shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange for private people to buy. But the Mineral Income Investment Fund(MIIF) will remain the majority shareholder.

The Minority said the deal makes it impossible for a future government to replace managers of Agyapa Royalties Limited although the Minerals Income Investment Fund will remain the majority shareholder.

The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has also questioned the deal and said he will not recognize it in case he wins this year’s polls.

A group of CSOs led by Dr Steve Manteaw, Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, noted that the government of Ghana and Parliament rushed in approving the controversial Agyapa Royalties 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.”