Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance, says the government envisages Agyapa Royalties Ltd will become the biggest company in Africa in the mineral resource space.
Speaking at the Ministry of Finance’s press conference on Thursday, Ofori-Atta said he is very clear in his mind that the Agyapa deal is a good arrangement for this country.
“I am very open to a lot more discussions. But I’m very clear that it is the right time to do it, I’m very clear that we are going to get the best valuation,” he said.
“I’m also very clear that if we reimagine ourselves as Ghanaians then we need to begin to do that at a higher level and order to push us to do even more.”
No hidden agenda
Ofori-Atta the government has no hidden agenda to shortchange the people of this country.
“What we have done is to say we are getting some royalties every year, maybe US$150 million, and there are some major things that we need to do as a country that demand big capital.
“So, as we sit, Agyapa is 100% owned by the government and there are no hidden beneficiaries in that regard.
“It is a clean transaction as far as I know. We are going to make sure it is done.”
Ofori-Atta said it is very painful for a section of the public to label the Agyapa deal as a form of “elite capture”.
He said: “The challenge for me is that the opposition has been aware of this deal since 2018 and has been part of the discussions … But they are doing their job.”
He continued: “… which initially meant that we here are doing it for ourselves and have some shares in that. So if that phrase is used, it makes it difficult to note if it’s genuine or it’s intended.
“You’ve seen us operate for three and a half years and what we have done is to follow this ‘Akufo plan’ to make sure that everybody benefits. And so to talk about elite capture, that was, for me, very painful.”
Agyapa Royalties Ltd is a special-purpose vehicle created by the Government of Ghana to maximise the mineral royalties received from mining companies.
Under an investment agreement between the Minerals Income Investment Fund and Agyapa Royalties Ltd, the Fund has assigned its right to receive 75.6% of royalties from a portfolio of 12 producing mines and four developments assets through Agyapa.
In exchange, Agyapa will issue shares worth US$1 billion to the Fund.