Dr. Steve Manteaw, Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, has noted that the government of Ghana and Parliament rushed in approving the controversial Agyapa Royalties agreement.
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 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.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday August 25, Dr Manteaw said : “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.”
“Under the current arrangement, with the Mineral Income Investment act, we do not see any such transparency, accountability and public oversight arrangement, so it makes it very risky and prone to elite capture and abuse.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana