Former Finance Minister Seth Terkper has asked the government to return to the legislature to review the Agyapa Royalties deal.
He told on Onua TV’s Bright Kwasi Asempa on Monday, August 31 that the deal lacked transparency and is bad for Ghana hence, must be suspended.
“We have said that they should respect transparency, they should go back to Parliament to review the agreement,” he advised.
His successor, Ken Ofori-Atta, said at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, August 27 that the government is being innovative in the generation of revenue for developmental projects with regard to the Agyapa Royalties agreement.
Mr Ofori-Atta said government is in a hurry to fix the developmental challenges facing the country hence the need to use all manner of means within the legal framework to raise revenue.
He told journalists: “We are excited about the listing of Agyapa in London by the end of the year. It creates the first royalty company of that nature in Africa.
“It is really sad that for a country that has been mining gold since the 15th Century with the Portuguese, we still don’t have any international listing company either in gold or even cocoa.
“This must come to an end and we believe this is a strong statement to register Ghana’s presence going forward.
“We need to create structures that allow us to access the funding, if we don’t do that we allow ourselves to remain captives of the international companies that take our resources and simply market them to the same groups that we choose to ignore. There are those who say we should be careful not to mortgage yourself today, the gold in the ground for future generations.
“First of all, this is not the case but I have two questions for those who raise these concerns. If it is ok for a foreign investor who goes for searching to sell what is in the ground upfront then why not us?
“But more importantly, why is it ok to borrow today for future and not good to use our resources to leverage ourselves for tomorrow?
“We must be creative to expand our sources for income to support our development. we are in a hurry to catch up. Every year every generation we wait, we keep millions of people and families in the abyss of poverty and sufferings.
“If we want to increase our share of global line, it sometimes means creating new innovative structures and give direct access to the natural resources in a manner that is open and transparent and operate in accordance with laws.”
Ghana’s legislature approved the controversial Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement Friday, August 14 despite a protest from the Minority.
Based on the agreement, Agyapa Royalties Limited (ARL) will trade shares on the Ghana Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange for private people to buy. But the Mineral Income Investment Fund(MIIF) will remain the majority shareholder.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana