The Ministry of Finance has served notice that government will not proceed with the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of the Agyapa Royalties deal until the Special Prosecutor concludes ongoing corruption risk assessment on it.
In a letter signed by Deputy Finance Minister, Charles Adu Boahene and sighted by Citi News, the Ministry said the initial plan to launch the IPO in September is currently on hold.
The Ministry of Finance assured that it was ready to cooperate with the anti-graft office.
“The Ministry does not intend to proceed with the IPO ahead of the results of the corruption risk assessment by your Office,” the Ministry added in the statement.
The Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, wrote to the Finance Ministry urging it to suspend the issuance of IPO pending the receipt of crucial documents to assist with the corruption risk assessment.
The Ministry is in agreement that more transparency is necessary to bolster the integrity of the already controversial deal.
“The international investor community has been closely monitoring the outcome of the current state of the transaction, and, it would, therefore, be detrimental to proceed without receiving the necessary approvals and green light from your Office,” it said.
“Additionally, we will be required to fully disclose in the prospectus to the transaction, the outcome of any investigation by your office prior to approval by the respective regulators of stock exchanges in Ghana and the United Kingdom.”
The Ministry added that it was on standby “to provide any further information or clarification” for the Special Prosecutor’s risk assessment.
The Special Prosecutor has so far been given information concerning mainly the processes for and the appointment of the Transaction Advisors.
But it also wants information and documents relating to the identification and recommendation by the transaction advisors.
The Ministry in its latest letter said it had furnished the Prosecutor with relevant documents pertaining to the appointment of the Transaction Advisors and the opinion of the principal legal advisor to government, among others.
The latest developments notwithstanding, some critics are not relenting on their corruption fears with the deal.
The Alliance of Civil Society Organisations working in Extractive, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance says it will continue to kick against the deal despite the move by the Special Prosecutor to get the implementation process suspended.
About the deal
The Agyapa deal is a by-product of the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act.
In 2018, Parliament passed the Act which establishes the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies and receive royalties on behalf of the government.
The purpose of the fund is to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country.
The government then, through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), set up Agyapa Royalties Limited to monetize Ghana’s gold royalties.
This was after Parliament on August 14, 2020, approved the Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement with the Government of Ghana despite the walkout by the Minority.
In exchange, the company plans to raise between $500 million and $750 million for the government on the Ghana and London Stock exchanges to invest in developmental projects.
The Special Prosecutor had earlier written to the Speaker of Parliament demanding further information on the Agyapa deal.