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Agyapa Royalties deal to go back to Parliament

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong
Mr Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance
Mr Ken Ofori Atta, Minister of Finance

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed the Minister of Finance to take the Agyapa Royalties deal back to Parliament, Graphic Online has gathered.

The move follows the completion of a corruption risk assessment on the deal by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.

The Special Prosecutor in a statement issued Monday morning [November 2, 2020] announced that he had completed the corruption risk assessment about two weeks ago and submitted his report to the Presidency.

“The analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment was completed and signed by the Special Prosecutor on 15th October 2020”, he said.

“I have, therefore, decided to bring the facts of the conclusion of the anti-corruption assessment of the Agyapa Royalties Transactions by this office to the attention of the public and to avoid the continued speculations on this matter,” Mr Amidu added.

Read alsoAmidu submits Agyapa corruption risk assessment report to Akufo-Addo

“The analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment was completed and signed by the Special Prosecutor on 15th October 2020. The Special Prosecutor in a letter with reference number OSP/SCR/20/12/20 dated 16th October 2020 conveyed the conclusions and observations of the anti-corruption assessment to H. E. the President and the Hon. Minister of Finance as a matter of courtesy before informing the public.”

“Two weeks is more than too long for this Office to continue withholding the announcement of the completion of its sixty-four (64) page report to the public. It is important that this Office has the freedom to discharge its anti-corruption mandate and keep the public informed. I have, therefore, decided to bring the facts of the conclusion of the anti-corruption assessment of the Agyapa Royalties Transactions by this Office to the attention of the public and to avoid the continued speculations on this matter,” the Special Prosecutor added in the press release.

Background

On August 14, 2020, Parliament approved the Agyapa Minerals Royalties Investment Agreement and four related documents to allow for the monetisation of Ghana’s future gold royalties.

Under the agreement, Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited has been incorporated in Jersey near UK to receive and manage royalties from 16 gold mining leases over the next 15 years or so.

In exchange, the firm will list on the London and Ghana Stock Exchanges later this year and raise at least $500 million for government to invest in infrastructure, health and education.

The listing will allow private people to buy a 49 per cent stake in the firm.

However, some 22 civil society organisations called for a suspension of the deal, insisting it was not in the interest of Ghana.

Special Prosecutor's investigation

The Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin A.B.K. Amidu, therefore commenced investigations into the Agyapa Mineral Royalties transaction.

In a letter of September 10, 2020, addressed to the clerk of Parliament, the Special Prosecutor said the investigation was in line with his office’s mandate to exercise the functions and powers of the prevention of corruption.

“I write in pursuant to Sections 2(1) c, 29 and 73 of Act 959 and Regulation 31 (1) and (2) of L. I. 2374 mandating the Office to exercise the functions and powers of the prevention of corruption, to request you to provide this office with information and all documents related to and/or in connection with the approval given by Parliament to the Agyapa Royalty Transaction to assist this office to execute its prevention of corruption object,” the letter from the Special Prosecutor to Parliament said.

The Special Prosecutor urged Parliament to ensure “timeous compliance with this statutory notice.”

Concentration

The letter added: “This Office will be concentrating on any potential of the said transaction to promote and facilitate the suspected commission of corruption and corruption-related offences and advise government accordingly.”

It said in view of the public interest generated in the issue in the tense election environment this year, “it will be highly appreciated should you make the requested information available to the Office and produce the required documents to this office on or before Tuesday, September 17, 2020”, the letter said.

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Below is a copy of the full report