Flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama has questioned the basis for the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) known as Agyapa Royalties Limited to securitize royalties the country will make from gold mining.
Addressing Traditional leaders in the Ketu North Constituency as part of his four-day tour of the Volta Region, John Mahama said clarity is needed on the said agreement.
“Why will you be mortgaging this country’s gold royalties, three months to an election to go and collect money to come and spend and so the Minority said we won’t agree so they walked out of Parliament. But they went ahead and passed it. We don’t even know those who are behind the company, and as a responsible government, why will you go and invest in an offshore tax haven when you know that is where fraudulent transactions take place?” Mahama asked.
The Government of Ghana through the Minerals Income Investment Fund set up a limited liability company to receive money Ghana is supposed to earn from gold royalties.
In exchange, the company will be raising between $500 million and $750 million lump sum for the Ghana Government on the Ghana and London Stock exchanges to invest in developmental projects.
Bia East MP unhappy with approval of SPV
The Member of Parliament for Bia East, Richard Acheampong, suspects the Majority in Parliament passed the Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement to satisfy the interest of some members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
This was after Parliament gave its approval to the deal on Friday despite a walkout by the Minority who contended the deal does not serve the interest of Ghana.
Before staging the walkout, the Minority in a heated argument on the Floor of Parliament demanded that government discloses the owners of Agyapa Mineral Company.
NPP MP, Andrew Mercer rebuts claims
But responding to such claims in an earlier interview on Eyewitness News, the Member of Parliament for the Sekondi constituency, Andrew Egyapa Mercer insisted that claims that the company changed its name were false.
He also rejected claims that royalties are the preserve of traditional authorities.
“That assertion that royalties are sent to traditional authorities is false. There is a formula for distributing mineral resources. 70 percent goes to the government of Ghana and the rest is distributed in accordance with the formula that is contained in the mining leases.”
Andrew Mercer explained that the government is seeking to channel its portion of the royalties into better use for the benefit of the country.
“It is government’s portion that it gets annually that it is seeking to set up an SPV pursuant to the Minerals Income Investment Act 2018 which set up the Minerals Income Investment Fund to put the SPV on the London Stock Exchange, raise equity of up to 49 percent, equivalent to about US$500 million, to enable government spend those funds without paying interest or increasing the debt stock of the country and use those revenues to fund its development agenda.”