The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has urged Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) commenting on the now controversial Agyapa Royalties deal to do so free from suspicions that government has a sinister motive.
Communications Director of the governing NPP, Yaw Buaben Asamoa, said on Monday, August 31, 2020, that, contrary to claims by some CSOs, the minerals agreement has been transparent.
“What we are saying, what we are asking CSOs to do is to interrogate these things dispassionately; looking at the larger strategic picture. We must begin to move forward. We cannot continue to be a small player [in the mining sector],” Yaw Buaben Asamoa said.
The NPP Communications Director made the comments in Accra on Monday, during a press conference held to respond to a number of issues in the public domain.
His admonishing for a dispassionate debate on the Agyapa deal follows a press conference by 15 CSOs fronting under the name, ‘Alliance of CSOs working on Extractives, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance.’
The CSOs say they are concerned about a lack of openness and transparency that has characterised the Agyapa transaction.
Speaking on behalf the group, Dr Steve Manteaw said, “Just last week, we sighted a call for an expression of interest placed in the Daily Graphic inviting prospective consultants for the development of a strategic plan for the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF).
“While we welcome the open and transparent process for selection relative to this particular assignment, we have no evidence of the same openness in the creation of the Special Purpose Vehicle in the Agyapa deal and the appointment of its directors.”
But at the press conference, Mr Asamoa said the deal has been conceived and instituted over a two-year period.
“The Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) [that set up the Agyapa deal] was set up in 2018…is that a hurried project?” he quizzed.
“What were the objects of the income investment fund which was set up in 2018? To mobilse our minerals income and if possible collateralise and securitise it for major heavy investment funds.
“This was back in 2018. Then as we seek to operationlise that, you realise that the minerals income investment fund as a body will not be able to engage beyond the shores of Ghana,” he added.
According to him, the true purpose of the government owned Agyapa Royalties Ltd that has become a source of controversy, is to enable the MIIF to engage the international money market adequately.