Sunday, October 17, 2021

Agyapa Royalties: Be proactive on corruption risk assessment – CSOs to Special Prosecutor, other bodies

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EllSamwise King
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The Alliance of CSOs Working on Extractives, Anticorruption, and Good Governance has welcomed the intervention of the Special Prosecutor in the controversy surrounding the implementation of the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, and its associated Agyapa transaction.

According to a statement issued on behalf of the CSOs by Dr Steve Manteaw, the decision to review documents on the project for any inherent “or associated corruption risks, and the subsequent call for suspension of the transaction is good for Ghana, as it buys Ghanaians time to ensure that the national interest is safeguarded in government’s efforts at optimising the benefits of the country’s mineral resources.

“While we stand ready to support the Special Prosecutor’s review of the corruption risks in the transaction if invited to make representation, we will nonetheless continue with our public education and citizens’ mobilisation to bring pressure to bear on the government for the redress of other concerns that may fall outside the mandate of the Special Prosecutor.

“The Alliance takes this opportunity to entreat all state accountability institutions to take proactive steps to act, as required by their mandate, when serious public interest issues are raised by citizens, else they risk losing public confidence and trust in their existence and function.”

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.

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, has also questioned the deal and said he will not recognize it in case he wins this year’s polls.

A group of CSOs led by Dr. Steve Manteaw, who is also Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, noted that the government of Ghana and Parliament rushed in approving the controversial Agyapa Royalties agreement.

Meanwhile Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta said the deal was not rushed. He indicated that the country stands to benefit significantly from the deal.

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