The government says its doors are still open for more engagement with all stakeholders in the minerals sector, in a bid to activate applicable portions of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) ACT, 2018 as part of the implementation process of the Agyapa Royalties deal.
The Agyapa Royalties deal has engaged a public debate with the Minority in Parliament and civil society organisations saying the deal is not in the best interest of Ghana
The minority at a press conference addressed by the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, on Wednesday September 2, 2020 stated that the deal among other things has several short-comings in terms of constitutional requirements and reeks of corruption, an allegation government has refuted.
Addressing a media briefing on Thursday, September 3, 2020, the Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Pius Enam Hadzide, negated the claims by the minority and stressed that the government will not engage in any practice that will come at a loss to the nation.
According to Mr. Hadzide, the government’s swift action to addressing the concerns of Ghanaians regarding the Agyapa Royalties deal is a clear testament of a listening government.
“It is noteworthy that government’s engagement with CSO’s may have helped clarify some misconceptions and misunderstandings surrounding the deal”, Mr. Hadzide noted.
Mr. Hadzide further stated that government is keen on bringing all citizens of this nation along with it, as it embarks on the exciting and novel journey of adding value to the country’s numerous natural resources and leverage the country’s assets for a better tomorrow, that’s in keeping with the Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda.
“Government has the welfare of Ghanaians gravely at heart and all its efforts are directed towards securing the future of the people….Government shall continue to work in the best interest of the Ghanaian people, use our nation’s resources to leverage our assets for tomorrow, and that government continues to keep its eyes on the ball”, Mr. Hadzide stressed.
Agyapa deal in Ghana’s interest – Finance Minister
The government has maintained that the approval of five agreements to allow a special purpose vehicle (SPV), Agyapa Royalties Limited, to leverage Ghana’s mineral royalties to secure about $1 billion is in the best interest of Ghana.
The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has explained that the deal would allow the government to leverage Ghana’s mineral royalties to finance large infrastructural projects, especially in mining communities.
The minister has subsequently dispelled some public assertions that the deal was shrouded in secrecy and raised conflict of interest issues.
He has stressed that due procedure was followed in enacting the Minerals Income and Investment Fund (MIIF) Act, 2018 (Act 978) and the subsequent approval of the five agreements that paved the way for Agyapa Royalties to own the rights to mineral royalties in the country.
“This deal is not hasty, it is not rushed and not shrouded in any secrecy because we have been working at it since 2018. We are confident that Agyapa is going to be the largest company in Africa in the mineral royalty space and it is in the best interest of this country,” the Minister stressed.