Contrary to vile rumours that Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited is owned by some unseen hands connected to the corridors of power, government has stated that the company is currently 100-percent state-owned.
The Ministry of Finance has maintained that there are no hidden shareholders or beneficiaries in the Agyapa deal and that it will be the biggest company in Africa in the mineral sector if it is well managed.
Making a presentation to the media in Accra last Thursday, a Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Charles Adu Boahen maintained that Agyapa, the gold Royalty Company, “is 100% owned by Government of Ghana.”
According to him, individuals and groups can only own shares when the company is listed on the stock market.
“The company (Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited) is to be listed on the London and Ghana Stock Exchanges after the approval by appropriate regulatory authorities in Ghana and London.
“Once listed Government of Ghana through MIIF (Minerals Income Investment Fund) will be the majority shareholder with at least 51% of the shares,” Mr Adu Boahen added.
Listing In Ghana & London
The Deputy Minister for Finance pointed out that listing of the company on the stock market will ensure high level of transparency and good corporate governance as every investor including critics of the deal is welcomed to buy shares.
“London is one of the major stock markets for listing mining companies.
“In order to realise maximum value for the shares that are being sold, London, is the ideal way to ensure this.
“Given the amount of funds, the Government wants to raise, these amounts cannot be raised only on the Ghanaian stock market,” the Deputy Minister explained.
He said Parliament had approved the investment agreement, saying “it ties the royalty flows to the life of the underlying mining leases for the specific gold mines.”
He explained that only 16 gold mining companies in which government receives annual royalties will be affected.
Monetization of Agyapa Royalty Flow
According to the Deputy Minister, royalties will flow from the specified gold mining assets to Bank of Ghana and be split.
He said only 75.6 percent of the royalties will go to the Minerals Income and Investment Fund, with other statutory bodies getting their shares.
Accordingly, the 20 percent share of Minerals Development Fund is still intact with 2.4 percent will go to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) as a revenue management fee, and 2 percent to the MIIF to cover costs of running the fund.
Mr Adu Boahen explained that the 75.6 percent of the royalties will flow to Agyapa Royalties from 16 gold assets with four under development.
“This means GoG (Government of Ghana) will get the following benefits: benefit from investment of the significant amount of funds received from issuing shares in the company; will receive dividends from the company based on the royalty flows; as the majority shareholders, they will also benefit from the potential capital gains in the shares into perpetuity.
“Agyapa has the ability to facilitate the development of mines in Ghana and Africa and hence develop the sector and economy as a whole.”
“This will, all other things being equal also benefit shareholders, including the majority shareholder, Government,” the Deputy Minister added.
It would be recalled that Parliament on August 14, 2020 approved the Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited agreement with the government of Ghana despite a walkout by the Minority.
About two years ago, Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018, establishing the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies, and receive royalties on behalf of government.
The fund is supposed to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country.
The law also allows the fund to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to use for the appropriate investments.
Last month, government introduced an amendment to the act to ensure that the SPV, now Agyapa Royalties to have unfettered independence.
However, there have been concerns about the deal by many including the Minority in Parliament who have questioned the credibility of the agreement.
They have also called for a withdrawal of the deal.
There have been criticisms from some Ghanaians including civil society organizations (CSOs) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) about the ownership and transparency of the Agyapa deal.
However, reiterating that the company is currently 100 percent state-owned, Deputy Finance Minister Mr Adu Boahen stated that the deal will ensure that government can raise capital for development in affordable housing, education, road among other capital projects without adding to the debt stock.
He said the country has to maximize the value of income that is due the state.
According to him, it is for this reason that MIIF was brought into being to ensure Ghana derives the best from its mineral resources.
He stated that gold companies, oil companies, that are in most cases ready to pay premium for Ghana’s resources, exist beyond Ghana.
Mr Adu Boahen called on Ghanaians to be creative to expand the country’s sources for income generation, if they want to expand their share of the international pie.
He said for centuries, Africans have been getting far less than they deserve for their mineral resources.
This is due to the fact that the resources leave the shores of Africa without value addition.
According to him, President Nana Akufo-Addo is clear in his mind that to move Ghana Beyond Aid, “we must add value to our resources”.