The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta will in the coming days send the controversial Agyapa Royalties agreement back to Parliament for further scrutiny.
This follows an assessment report of the deal submitted to the President by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu on the deal.
The directive to the Finance Minister is upon the orders of the President, Nana Akufo-Addo who believes the return of the deal to parliament will ensure transparency and probity.
“The President has accordingly, instructed the Minister that, in the interest of transparency and accountability to the Ghanaian people, the Agreements supporting the transaction that were submitted to Parliament, and approved by the House, should be resubmitted to Parliament for the approval process to start all over again.”
“This, he believes, will help address the concerns raised, principally, by the Minority, about having been given very limited time to subject properly the various Agreements to proper scrutiny. The transaction documents to be resubmitted are the Relationship Agreement, the Assignment Agreement, the Allocation Agreement, and the Investment Agreement”, a statement from the Jubilee House indicated.
“In line with the observations of the Special Prosecutor, President Akufo-Addo has directed that the procurement of the services of the Transaction Advisor(s) should also be reviewed by the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney General, with the aim of taking all steps that may be necessary to remove any doubts about the integrity of the process.”
“Additionally, it is the expectation of the President that the Ministry of Finance and the Minerals Income Investment Fund and the Transaction Advisors will use this opportunity also to amend the relevant Agreements to take into account the useful feedback received during the series of stakeholder consultations over the last two months”, the statement added.
In his corruption risk assessment of the much-talked-about transaction, the Special Prosecutor argued that consultations over the agreement were not comprehensive and innovative enough.
He further disclosed that the selection and appointment of advisors for the agreement did not meet the “fundamentals of probity, transparency and accountability.”
Mr. Amidu in his report took a swipe at the various officials who took part in the processes leading to the approval of the agreement.
According to him, the actors flouted several laws with impunity prior to the approval of the agreement.
“All the parties to the Mandate Agreement are deemed to have known the law but ignored it with impunity in signing and implementing the Mandate Agreement which is null and void ab initio as violating the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) and the Public Procurement Authority Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) as amended. This conduct which appears to have been in furtherance of the suspected bid-rigging, in the assessment of this Office severely lowered the risk of corruption, and rendered them a low risk enterprise in the Agyapa Royalties Transactions process and their approval.”
His 67 paged document added that: “It is with these new lenses that the analysis of the risk of corruption, and anti-corruption assessments of the legality of the engagement of the other services providers and underwriters on the recommendations of the Transaction Advisors acting as the Ministry of Finance’s procurement entity tender committee contrary to Part VI of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) as amended, and Sections 7 and 25 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) afore-quoted were made.”