Former President John Mahama has reiterated his opposition to the Agyapa minerals royalties deal.
In a post on Facebook on Sunday, May 15, 2022, Mr. Mahama assured that “the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will oppose it [Agyapa deal] vigorously.”
He also reminded of his comments on the matter during the his presentation at the Ghana at a Crossroads lecture.
“Government must clarify reports which are rife in the investment community that it intends to use the Heritage Fund as collateral to raise a US$2 billion loan from a consortium of banks. We wish to serve notice that if this turns out to be true, we in the NDC will oppose it vigorously in the same way that we oppose the Agyapa deal.”
“We cannot support the collateralization of every single source of future revenue just to finance today’s consumption,” Mr. Mahama said.
The renewed apprehension follows the Finance Minister hinting at the government’s intention to pursue the deal during a press briefing in Accra on May 12, 2022.
This was after the Minerals Income Investment Fund was reported to have said that it is redesigning its strategy for listing the Agyapa Royalties on the London Stock Exchange and the Ghana Stock Exchange.
The government through the Minerals Income Investment Fund, set up Agyapa Royalties Limited to securitize Ghana’s gold royalties.
Under the deal, Ghana was to own 51 per cent of the Jersey-based company Agyapa Royalties and the remaining shares would be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
In return for securitizing the future revenues, the government has argued that it could raise at least $500 million in capital to ease their growing debt crisis and invest in developmental projects by listing the remaining 49 percent of shares.
But the government was criticised for not being transparent with the deal and a subsequent corruption risk assessment by the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, drew a link between the transaction advisor appointed on the project, Imara Corporate Finance of South Africa, and Databank Financial Services, a Ghanaian company co-founded by the Finance Minister.
Among other things, Amidu concluded that this deal, the Agyapa Royalties deal, violated multiple laws whilst the appointment of transaction advisors, did not meet the “fundamentals of probity, transparency, and accountability.”
Though the President instructed the Finance Minister to re-submit the deal to Parliament in light of the report, the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, claimed the President tried to interfere in the deal and subsequently resigned.