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Ken Ofori-Atta: Releasing Amidu’s report on Agyapa deal a disservice to democracy

Appearing before Parliament’s appointments committee on Thursday, Ken Ofori-Atta said the assessment report on the Agyapa deal was leaked to the press before he made any input

Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta, says the leaking of a report on the Agyapa deal after its assessment by the former special prosecutor Martin Amidu did a disservice to Ghana’s democracy.

“I think really there is quite a bit of cynicism with that transaction and, for me, for such a report to be put out in the public without us (me, as Minister for Finance) having a chance to discuss it, I think is a disservice to our democracy,” Ofori-Atta told the appointments committee of Parliament today (Thursday 25 March 2021).

He added: “That is such a fundamental right … I think we all as a people should be careful about such things. And so the speculative issues and the risks associated with most transactions discussions and resubmission to Parliament will enable us to rework those things.”

Ofori-Atta said that risks are part of every investment transaction, including the Agyapa Royalties deal.

Re-engage Parliament on Agyapa

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given the strongest indication that his government will soon re-engage Parliament on the way forward on the Agyapa Mineral Royalties transaction.

Delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on 9 March, Akufo-Addo said the deal which was suspended last year will be revisited soon.

“Let me, at this point, assure the House that, in the course of this session of Parliament, the government will come back to engage the House on the steps it intends to take on the future of the Agyapa transaction,” said President Akufo-Addo, serving notice.

The announcement comes barely a month after Databank withdrew from the controversial deal as transactional advisor. The decision, it says was based on attempt by certain persons to tarnish its reputation.

Earlier, 15 civil society groups had called for the termination of the deal arguing that it lacks transparency.


In 2018, Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018, 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 Investments Fund (MIIF), set up Agyapa Royalties Ltd to monetise Ghana’s gold royalties.

This was after Parliament approved the Agyapa Mineral Royalty Ltd agreement in the name of the Government of Ghana on 14 August 2020 despite a walkout by Minority members of the House.

In exchange, the company plans to raise between US$500 million and roughly $1 billion for the government on the Ghana and London Stock Exchanges to invest in development projects.

However, the deal has become a subject of hot debate after concerns expressed first by the opposition National Democratic Congress, leading up to the December 2020 general election.

Rising dissent

On 14 August, a few days after approving an amendment to the MIIF Act, the Minority walked out during the approval process of the very transaction agreements, the facilitation of which the amendment to the Fund’s statute was amended.

Civil society groups quickly added their voices to the opposition, describing the special-purpose vehicle (SPV) being created then, Agyapa Royalties of Jersey, as being opaque, potentially corrupt and undervalued.

They insisted that the deal must be suspended to allow for greater stakeholder involvement, according to some of the dissenting voices.

However, the government has insisted that the deal is in Ghana’s best interests.

Last year, the president directed the Finance Minister and Attorney General to review the transaction agreements and make necessary adjustment to address some of the concerns raised by stakeholders, where appropriate.

Fred Dzakpata

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995

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