Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said son of Senior Minister Kofi Bosompem Osafo-Maafo has not been appointed a transaction advisor for the Agyapa Royalties deal.
He asked all those making this assertion to seek adequate and proper information on the deal and stop making baseless claims.
Speaking in an interview with Alfred Ocansey on the News 360 on TV3 Tuesday, August 25, Mr Oppong Nkrumah wondered whether it is criminal simply because he is a politically exposed person.
“There is nothing untoward, nothing wrong with somebody being politically exposed. A politically exposed person simply means somebody who is linked to somebody who is political.
“It is not a crime.”
The Minister added: “He is not appointed as a transaction advisor and the supposition that he is a transaction advisor shows clearly that instead of heaping allegations, what people should be doing is simply go back and say can we get some more education and some information.”
He further denied claims that the deal which has been approved by Parliament was not transparent.
He said the full document was laid before the House for a whole debate on it on the floor.
Therefore, he said, claims that the deal has not been transparent is inaccurate.
His comments come after a group of civil society organizations led by Dr Steve Manteaw, Chair of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, accused the government of shrouding the deal in secrecy.
Dr Manteaw noted the deal was rushed and also lacked transparency.
“What we are telling government is let’s slow down…let’s have more transparency, more consensus building around the approach before we go forward with the approach.
“I don’t know of any national emergency that warrants that we should rush the process to raise funds for development.”
When asked whether the government will suspend the deal following the concerns raised by the CSOs, Mr Oppong Nkrumah asked: “Suspend because of what?
“The full documentation has been made available to Parliament. Nobody hid this transaction, we took everything to Parliament and we had a full blown debate. Instead of people, with the greatest of respect, focusing on the debate, they were focusing on side issues like a comment I made and that was what captured the headline.
“But the full document was put on the table in Parliament. If somebody requires some more answers, I think it is fair to say can we get some more clarification on this?
“I think we are beginning to mix a number of things that don’t conform with how we govern this country. This transaction has been transparent from Day 1.”
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.
ARL will raise between $500 million and $750 million for government to use for developmental initiatives, and then future resources from gold royalties will go to ARL shareholders instead of the Mineral Investment Fund and for that matter government.
Essentially, government is mortgaging expected royalties from gold in exchange for about $500 million – $750 million from ARL.
The Minority said the deal makes it impossible for a future government to replace managers of Agyapa Royalties Limited although the Minerals Income Investment Fund will remain the majority shareholder.
The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, also questioned the deal and said he will not recognize it in case he wins this year’s polls.
By Laud Nartey|3news,com|Ghana