A political analyst, Razak Kojo Poku has stated that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has intentions to use the Agyapa Mineral Royalties Agreement to develop Ghana.
Government of Ghana through the Minerals Income Investment Fund, set up Agyapa Royalties Limited to receive money the country is supposed to earn from gold royalties.
In exchange, the company will be raising between $500 million and $750 million for the Government on the Ghana and London Stock exchanges to invest in developmental projects in areas of education, health and roads among others.
However, the agreement has been widely opposed by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some 15 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
They claim the agreement does not give the country value for money, asking government to take a second look at it.
However, Mr Razak Kojo Poku who is also the Public Relations Officer of the National Lottery Authority (NLA) said Agyapa is one of the excellent deals with the greatest potential for advancing the country’s socio-economic and infrastructural development needs.
In a statement, Mr Kojo Poku said the “Agyapa Royalties deal has been created by Akufo-Addo’s government with good and genuine intentions to leverage the minerals royalties for the overall benefit of the country”.
He noted that the decision of the government to list the Agyapa Royalties on the stock market was aimed at raising revenue for national development and it was never for the personal benefit of family members of Akufo-Addo as diabolically and mischievously alleged by members of the NDC and the CSOs.
Some issues were raised by the Minority in Parliament and CSOs against the Agyapa deal.
The government therefore through the Ministry of Finance engaged the CSOs to listen to their views in order to better sharpen the agreement.
Also, in accordance with the advice of the then Special Prosecutor, President Akufo-Addo directed the Ministry of Finance to send the agreement back to Parliament for proper scrutiny and accountability to ensure that the concerns of the minority and others are taken on board.
Unfortunately, the 7th Parliament could not deal with the Agyapa issues before its dissolution on the 6th January 2021.
According to Mr Kojo Poku, it is imperative that government resubmit the Agyapa Royalties deal to the 8th Parliament for deliberations, public scrutiny and considerations.
“Quite frankly, it is very appropriate and in order for the re-submission of the Agyapa Royalties deal to the new Parliament.
“It is also very important to state that Databank has withdrawn from their services as a partner and transaction advisor in the Agyapa Royalties deal largely due to the several unjustifiable attacks on Databank, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta and family members of President Akufo-Addo by members of NDC and pro-NDC CSOs.
“The decision of President Akufo-Addo of sending the Agyapa Royalties back to Parliament considering the hung Parliament (137 NPP: 137 NDC: 1 Independent) clearly demonstrates that the NPP government wants the best ever deal for the Agyapa Royalties and we need to commend President Akufo-Addo for such a laudable bold decision”, he noted.
Mr Kojo Poku said taking Agyapa Royalties deal back to Parliament would help the country to achieve the following benefits:
1. National consensus building for the deal.
2. Clear all doubts, and achieve maximum transparency satisfactory to all Ghanaians.
3. Cure the propaganda spearheaded by members of NDC and pro-NDC CSOs against the deal.
4. Secure a better deal for the collective benefits of all Ghanaians.
5. Build public confidence in the deal.
6. Ensure further scrutiny and probity of the deal.
7. Enact proper nationalistic laws to regulate the deal.
Mr Kojo Poku reiterated that the “Agyapa Royalties deal is an excellent deal with the greatest potential of changing the fortunes of the socio-economic architecture of the country, and it is very essential that all of us support the Agyapa deal”.