The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is demanding an independent probe of the valuations of royalty rights in the Agyapa Royalties deal before backing down on some contentions with the deal.
At a press conference on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said a future National Democratic Congress government will not honour the terms of the Agyapa deal if the doubts of the Minority are not cleared.
The NDC maintains that Ghana’s assets have been “grossly undervalued” in the agreement.
Based on a preliminary assessment, the government has valued Ghana’s royalty rights at $1 billion.
But Mr. Iddrisu insists that “the worth of our gold revenue and their projects needs a further thorough probe by independent economic transaction advisors for us to appreciate that they [the Akufo-Addo administration] are not ripping this country off.”
He made reference to the Power Distribution Services deal which was abrogated after it took off because of purported fraud.
“Agreements similar to it [like the Agyapa deal] will walk on the same path tomorrow,” he stated.
Despite the Minority’s call for “minimum documentation,” Mr. Iddrisu contends that the government refuses to be transparent with the deal.
The Minority, which boycotted the approval of the agreement in Parliament, has raised questions about the value of Ghana’s royalties and fears the government has been trying to hide the beneficial owners of the deal.
It has also cautioned that Agyapa Royalties Limited, the Special Purpose Vehicle created for the deal, could be used as a conduit for money laundering.
Among the issues outlined by the Minority Leader were issues of conflict of interest and procurement malfeasance.
He said further clarity on the procurement for Africa legal Associates, which has Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko as a partner, to consult on the deal, among other legal entities named.
“How were they procured and how much have they been paid and whether this was done competitively and advertised for the good people of Ghana. We also want to know the cost of the transaction and how much has been paid to those firms and why the choice of the Senior Minister’s son,” Mr. Iddrisu added.
Because of these concerns, the Minority also intends to make a complaint to the London Stock Exchange, on which Agyapa Royalties will be listed.
The Minority wants to make clear its belief that “this agreement is therefore tainted with some corrupt acts.”
“We will today put the London Stock Exchange and the Financial Conduct Authority on notice that this agreement does not meet the minimum requirement of diligence and transparency and minimum requirements of our constitution,” Mr. Iddrisu said.
About the deal
In 2018, Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018 which establishes the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies and receive royalties on behalf of government.
The purpose of the fund is to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country.
The government then, through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), set up Agyapa Royalties Limited to monetise Ghana’s gold royalties.
This was after Parliament on August 14, approved the Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement with the government of Ghana despite the walkout by the Minority.
In exchange, the company plans to raise between $500 million and $750 million for the Government on the Ghana and London Stock exchanges to invest in developmental projects.