Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has gone adamant, insisting that the controversial Agyapa deal, will see the light of day, despite stiff opposition, because his cousin’s government is determined to do it.
“We will never have done free SHS if we listened to other people that is 400,000 lives that have a chance to do something, we would have stopped short at e-levy because of the noise, suddenly we have a tax handle that will be pheromonally important for the country,” he said.
The Finance Minister’s words, appear to be in direct response to the Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, who has tongue-lashed the government for planning to bring back the controversial Agyapa deal, despite the stiff opposition.
Mr Bentil, described the Agyapa Royalties deal, as a grand robbery scheme to rip the country off its natural resources, amidst the current economic challenges Ghanaians are fraught with.
But Mr Ofori-Atta, whose private company; Data Bank, has heavily profited from the transaction as financial advisors on the deal through a South African company called Imara Holdings Limited, argued that the listing of Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited, an offshore company based in the British Virgin Island of Jersey with unknown directors, on the London Stock Exchange is good for Ghana.
Gabby Asare-Otchere Darko, another cousin of the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, had also profited from the transaction with his law firm; Africa Legal Associates as legal advisors to the deal.
No one has been able to determine in total, how much the two family members have made from the transaction to collateralize Ghana’s mineral resources.
According to the minister, listing Ghana’s mineral resources, will enable the country to get the needed resources for the implementation of programmes that will lead to the betterment of all Ghanaians.
The minister, who made these remarks at a press briefing in Accra, on Thursday 12, 2022, added that the Agyapa deal will help get the country out of its over-reliance on borrowing.
“… it is not the question of whether monetization of mineral royalties or listing of the company is bad or good. It is good because that is how you raise the resources. The question is the process of doing that. If you have a problem with the process, just articulate it, let’s cure it, but let us not drop something that will be good for us that will reduce our debt exposure. So those are two very different questions. How best to do it, as opposed to, don’t do it. My mind is still there, I know the president has mentioned something about going through the AG, Parliament to do that,” he said.
The minister indicated that the government is determined to see to it that the Agyapa deal goes through, just as it has done with many policies implemented, despite strong opposition.
The minister made these remarks in reaction to a question on reports that processes have begun for the Agyapa deal to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, stated that persons against the Agyapa deal, will continue to resist any move to approve it.
In a Facebook post, he said, “The grand robbery called Agyapa is still being cooked. Every Bandit will be resisted!! You wreck our nation and now want to steal our God given resources. What kind of people are you?”
Kofi Bentil’s comment comes after the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, disclosed plans to list 49percent of Agyapa Royalties on the London Stock Exchange and Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).
This listing on both stock exchanges is expected to raise between US$450 million and US$700 million respectively from the gold royalties.
In a statement, the Chief Executive Officer of MIIF, Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng, who was brought in after the sacking of Lawyer Yaw Baah, a former NPP Member of Parliament for Kumawu in the Ashanti Region, said the funds from the listing will be invested into national infrastructure and socio-economic amenities.
He added that special focus, will be placed on mining communities across the country.
Before approving the Agyapa Royalties transaction, Parliament in 2018, passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act 2018, which establishes the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies and receive royalties on behalf of the government.
The sole purpose of the fund is to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country and government through the MIIF.
In exchange for that, the Agyapa Royalties Limited aims to raise between US$500 million and US$750 million for the Government on the Ghana and London Stock exchange’s intended development projects.
It would be recalled that before the approval of the Agyapa deal in parliament, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the minority called for the suspension of the deal because they said it lacked transparency on the terms of the agreement.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, March 9, 2022, announced that the Agyapa Royalties transaction would be sent back to parliament for reconsideration.