Vice Chairman for the Mines and Energy Committee in Parliament , George Mireku Duker has denied claims that the Agyapa deal has been suspended following a meeting with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
Widespread report on the suspension of the controversial Agyapa deal went viral on social media.
Reacting to the news of the suspension of the Agyapa deal with host of Atinka FM’s AM Drive Ekourba Gyasi, Mireku Duker explained that the deal was put on hold to broaden consultations.
“The Agyapa Royalties transaction has not been suspended as is being purported. Government had fulfilled the requirements of the law. There was, however, the need for broader consultations to ensure the buy-in of all Ghanaians. The meeting with the CSOs was one such consultations and the Ministry agreed with them to further broaden the consultations and to solicit further input from them and other Ghanaian constituencies going forward,” he explained.
He, however, noted that a number of concerns raised by the CSOs which included the registration of the entity in a tax haven, transparency, how the values were arrived at and what the country stood to benefit from the Agyapa Royalty Transaction.
He said although the concerns by the CSOs necessitated the engagements of other institutions and stakeholders, at no point was there any suggestion that the transaction was being halted.
The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) introduced a Minerals Income Investment Fund (“MIIF”) which has been approved by Parliament despite a walkout by the minority.
The agreements seeks to mortgage Ghana’s future mineral royalties and long term national assets in perpetuity, without any regard to its implication on future national revenue streams.
Per the transaction, the Akufo Addo government will use a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Agyapa Royalties, incorporated as an offshore company in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, a known tax haven, in exchange for an upfront amount of ¢500 million, under the Mineral Development Fund Act, 2018 (Act 978) and its amendment Act, which strangely, was yet to be assented to by the President in accordance with article 106 of the 1992 Constitution to make it law.