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Akufo-Addo directs Finance Minister to return Agyapa deal to Parliament

Sources at the Office of the President say Akufo-Addo wants the Agyapa agreement to be scrutinised further after a risk assessment report reached his desk

President Akufo-Addo has directed the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to go back to Parliament with the Agyapa Royalties deal for further scrutiny, sources at the Office of the President have told Asaaseradio.com.

High-profile sources say Akufo-Addo wants the legislature particularly to take a second look at aspects of the deal pertaining to the relationship, investment and allocation of the agreement.

The president has also advised the Finance Minister to take into consideration all the feedback he has received from stakeholder engagements with civil society organisations, faith-based organisations and other interest groups.

Asaaseradio.com understands the president’s decision also takes into consideration the confidential anti-corruption risk assessment made by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, to enhance transparency and to promote public engagement.

The Office of the President is expected to issue a statement about the development soon, Asaaseradio.com can report.

Corruption risk assessment

Meanwhile, the Special Prosecutor has submitted the outcome of his corruption risk assessment in the Agyapa Royalties deal to the president.

“The analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment was completed and signed by the Special Prosecutor on 15 October 2020. The Special Prosecutor in a letter with reference number OSP/SCR/20/12/20 dated 16 October 2020 conveyed the conclusions and observations of the anti-corruption assessment to H E the President and the Hon Minister of Finance as a matter of courtesy before informing the public,” a statement from the Special Prosecutor said.

It added: “Two weeks is more than too long for this Office to continue withholding the announcement of the completion of its sixty-four (64) page report to the public. It is important that this Office has the freedom to discharge its anti-corruption mandate and keep the public informed. I have, therefore, decided to bring the facts of the conclusion of the anti-corruption assessment of the Agyapa Royalties Transactions by this Office to the attention of the public and to avoid the continued speculations [sic] on this matter.”

Letter from Special Prosecutor on Agyapa Royalties deal, 2.11.2020

Background

In 2018, both sides of Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act. The act establishes the Minerals Income Investment Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies and receive royalties on behalf of the government.

The Fund is supposed to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns, for the benefit of the country. The law allows the Fund to establish special-purpose vehicles (SPVs) to use to make the appropriate investments.

Last month, the government introduced an amendment to the act to ensure that the SPVs have unfettered independence.

On 3 August 2020, Parliament amended the act to facilitate the alignment of the respective agreements for the operation of Agyapa Royalties, including its listing on the London and Ghana Stock Exchanges.

However, the Minority walked out when the time came to the pass the four governing agreements, relating to relationship, assignment, allocation and investment.

At the time, Minority MPs said they had been given only four hours to review the agreements. Second, they said, they were being asked to approve the agreements while the amended act, from which the agreements drew their authority, was yet to receive presidential assent.

Fred Dzakpata

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.
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