A group calling itself Action Movement Youth Volunteers is kicking against governments decision to go ahead with the Agyapa deal despite resistance from civil Society groups in the country.
It follows President Akufo-Addo’s pronouncement that the deal will be reintroduce the deal in parliament.
The group believes the move is an attempt to repackage the deal for parliamentary approval by the President is detrimental to the future welfare of the youth of Ghana .
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 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 up to about $1 billion for the government on the Ghana and London Stock Exchanges to invest in developmental projects.
The deal, however, has become a topical issue following concerns first by the opposition National Democratic Congress leading up to the December 2020 general elections.
On August 14, 2020, 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 not being transparent, potentially corrupt, under valued and that it must be suspended for greater stakeholder involvement, according to some of the dissenting voice.
The government has however insisted that the deal is in the best interest of the country.
The President, last year, 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.
Below is the full statement
AGYAPA ROYALTY DEAL: President Akufo-Addo is selling the future of the YOUTH for a mere pottage
Members of the non- profit Action Movement Youth Volunteers are very angry at the low-belly serpentine manner President Akuffo Addo is trying hard to sell off the future of the YOUTH for a mere pottage.
After its initial rejection because of public outcry, President Akufo-Addo is repackaging the deal for Parliamentary approval the risky Agyapa Royalty Deal.
Our President is engaging in an act which is detrimental to the future welfare of the YOUTH OF GHANA.
In our view, the controversial Agyapa Royalty Deal is of no use, especially to the future generation of this nation.
In September 2018, at the end of a one-week emergency sitting, the Parliament of Ghana approved what was called the Minerals Income Investment Fund Bill. The Bill allowed the government to set up the fund to receive royalties from mineral resources and invest them. It also allowed for the creation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in any jurisdiction to undertake such investments.
President Akufo-Addo signed the bill into law later that month. Since then, the Government of Ghana has worked to put in place a supposedly “Innovative financing solution” to the perpetual problem of sovereign debt in Sub-Saharan African Economies.
The controversy over the Agyapa Royalties Deal started on August 14, 2020, when the Majority MPs secured the numbers to pass the agreement although the Minority staged a walked out.
Ghana is one of Africa’s leading producers of gold, with receipts accounting for four percent of government revenue in 2017. If well spent, that means money for public goods and services for the country’s citizens. Who wouldn’t want better-resourced health services or improved education facilities?
Wait a minute!! How does President Akufo intend to tinker with the country’s gold revenues?
Under the Akufo-Addo Plan, Ghana is set to sell almost 76 percent of the royalties generated from 16 large gold mines to Agyapa Royalties Limited – a special purpose vehicle company registered in the British Crown dependency of Jersey. Forty-nine percent of Agyapa Royalties shares are to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Our former Special Prosecutor, Mr. Martin Amidu stated before he resigned from his job that he found that the sale of royalties to a company based in a tax haven and a secret jurisdiction carries risks of money laundering and generating illicit financial flows.
However, former (and renominated) Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta rebutted that critics of the transaction did not know what they were talking about. He wondered why it was acceptable to borrow today for the future and not good to use the nation’s resources to leverage our assets for tomorrow?
For us the YOUTH, the Agyapa deal is like giving our properties to total strangers to take ownership of. It is amounts to inviting unknown foreigners to recolonize our country.
What kind of decision was that?
The future of this nation belongs to the Youth and we must not allow Grandpa President Akufo-Addo to sell our future for a mere pottage.
We are by this release calling on the Youth of this country, our patriotic Parliamentarians and other Stakeholders to say No to this deal that will not benefit the YOUTH when they are of age to harness the resources for the national development.
Again, we are by this release calling President Akufo- Addo to stop pushing through this risky Agyapa Royalty Deal in order to save the economy for the future generation.
Long live Ghana.