Minister for Finance Ken Ofori-Atta has stated that the government will not back down on the Agyapa Mineral Royalties transaction because as it is a very good deal for Ghana.
He averred that to continue to manage the gold resource of the country today as it was done back in the 15th century is not an option the Akufo-Addo government would pursue.
According to him, to continue to allow gold revenues to flow into the Consolidated Fund and not knowing exactly what the monies are being used for is no longer the way forward for Ghana.
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta stated these when he appeared on Joy News’ Newsfile on Saturday to respond to pertinent issues that have been raised about the Agyapa Mineral Royalties transaction and the benefits expected to accrue to the state.
He argued that the government has provided enough clarity about the mineral royalties that the company will benefit from and indicated that enough light has been shed on the matter to put opposing views to rest.
“I think this is a good transaction and I think the issues that have been raised, we have put light on that.
“This is an incredible opportunity, the highest gold prices in the world. It reminds you of the parable in the Bible where the Lord has given us these assets and there are five of us. And am choosing to bury it at this time because of certain questions?
“Leadership is about balancing but, in the end, do I believe this is good for the Republic, I firmly do. Will it lead to where we want to go as Akufo-Addo’s plan for where Ghana should be transformed, I firmly do.
“Have we been doing what we have been doing since the 15th Century and so this is where we are at, we all are clear about that. Should this continue to go into the Consolidated Fund and not be able to know what we have done with it? That is not the way of the future,” he added.
The Finance Minister described the current brouhaha on the transaction as unfortunate and argued that contrary to innuendoes being bandied about; questions of transparency, valuation, and conflict of interests should rather be put out for discussion.
He argued that the Agyapa transaction has been a four-year process counting the two years the National Democrat Congress (NDC) government, which examined this model of paradigm in 2010 and 2011 and the two years that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has been discussing the same with Parliament from 2018.
Mr. Ofori-Atta reiterated that the Agyapa Royalty Company is 100% owned by the government of Ghana and so is the registration in Jersey 100% owned by Ghana until such time that the government goes for the listing.
The Finance Minister expressed shock at lamentations of NDC MPs and their complaints that they were denied some relevant documents they demanded and had barely four hours to consider the four major agreements that make up the Agyapa Royalty deal.
“I’m not sure what we did not give Parliamentarians through the Finance Committee in the various meetings that we had. What I don’t know is the final price so I can’t give that. I don’t know what else the mystery is when we talk about this transaction”, the minister stated.
He accused the opposition NDC and its MPs of making a meal out of the whole situation and creating an atmosphere of lack of information when such information is just a phone call away.