The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, has blamed the delay in completing the corruption risk assessment into the Agyapa Royalties deal on the failure of the Finance Ministry and its Deputy Minister, Charles Adu Boahen, to release documents covering the deal to his office.
The Special Prosecutor has commenced corruption risk assessment into the controversial deal but says the Finance Ministry has stonewalled him.
The Ministry of Finance has already served notice that the government will not proceed with the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the Agyapa Royalties deal until the Special Prosecutor concludes the ongoing corruption risk assessment.
In an exclusive interview with Citi News’ Umaru Sanda Amadu on Friday, October 9, 2020, Mr. Amidu said the attitude of the Finance Ministry makes the publication of the report on the assessment an uncertainty.
Amidu wrote to the Finance Ministry asking “for them to give us the full payments made to the Ministry of Finance to these transaction advisors since the contract begun in 2018 and also to the international service providers.”
Mr. Amidu added that “the last time I sent them a reminder was on 7th of October… nothing [no response] has come.”
The transaction advisors have a success fee of $4 million for the first phase of the agreement ahead of three more phases.
“We wanted them to give us all the payments made through approved banking channels to show us how much has gone into the transaction so that once and for all, we can make an assessment based upon the quantum of money being paid.”
“That is why we are telling him [Deputy Finance Minister] to give us the evidence that the quantum you have paid is not substantial. I haven’t had a reply and that is the only thing holding the assessment report.”
Mr. Amidu said his outfit “intended it [the assessment] to be out by the end of September.”
But, according to him, “the stonewalling and delays have come from the Ministry of Finance, particularly the Deputy Minister [Adu Boahen]. He is the one who has held us up.”
Mr. Amidu did not however disclose whether he would make the assessment public when it is completed.
“When I finish it, what the law requires me to do is what I will do,” he said.
About the deal
The Agyapa deal is a by-product of the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act.
In 2018, Parliament passed the Act which establishes the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies and receive royalties on behalf of the 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 monetize Ghana’s gold royalties.
This was after Parliament on August 14, 2020, 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.
The Special Prosecutor had earlier written to the Speaker of Parliament demanding further information on the Agyapa deal.
The deal has generated public discourse with some Civil Society Organisations vowing to reject the agreement claiming it is a total rip-off.