Implementation of the Agyapa Minerals Royalties Investment Agreement, which was put on hold for some reasons, will go back to Parliament and hopefully be executed during the second term of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The agreement was a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) established by government though the Minerals Income Investment Fund.
It was to allow for the monetisation of Ghana’s future gold royalties for investment in critical areas of national development such as education, health, roads and other infrastructure projects.
Under the agreement, Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited was incorporated in Jersey near UK to receive and manage royalties from some 16 gold mining leases over the next 15 years.
However, President Akufo-Addo directed that the deal be put on hold following some issues in the analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment by former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu.
Delivering a message on the state of the nation to Parliament yesterday in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 constitution, the President announced that government will come back to engage the Legislature on the steps it intends to take on the future of the Agyapa transaction.
President Akufo-Addo hinted that the transaction, which was not fully executed in the 7th Parliament will be revived in the 8th Parliament.
Article 67 of the Constitution states that “The President, shall, at the beginning of each session of parliament, and before the dissolution of Parliament, deliver to Parliament a message on the state of the nation”.
Late last year, President Akufo-Addo directed the Minister for Finance to take the Agyapa agreement back to Parliament after the 2020 general election for it to be reconsidered, possibly by the 8th Parliament.
The move followed the corruption-risk assessment of the deal by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
Ant-corruption risk assessment
It would be recalled that the Special Prosecutor in a statement issued on November 2, 2020, announced that he had completed the corruption risk assessment and had submitted his report to the Presidency.
Mr Martin Amidu raised issues of alleged conflict of interest against the Minister for Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta and others without giving them fair hearing.
This generated so much interest from several quarters in the country.
Consequently, some 22 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) under the umbrella name Alliance of CSOs working on Extractive, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance demanded the immediate suspension of the implementation of the agreement.
On August 14, 2020, Parliament approved the Agyapa Minerals Royalties Investment Agreement and four related documents to allow for the monetisation of Ghana’s future gold royalties.
Under the agreement, Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited was incorporated in Jersey near UK to receive and manage royalties from 16 gold mining leases over the next 15 years or so.
In exchange, the firm was list on the London and Ghana Stock Exchanges later last year and raise at least $500 million for government to invest in infrastructure, health and education.
The listing was to allow private people to buy a 49 per cent stake in the firm.
However, the civil society organisations called for suspension of the deal, claiming it was not in the interest of Ghana.