Civil Society Organisation in the country have warned the Akufo Addo administration to immediately suspend the scandalous Agyapa Mineral Royalties agreement until all documents relating to its operations are fully disclosed.
Speaking on behalf of over CSOs at a news conference today, the Co-chairman of the Ghana Extractive and Transparency Initiative, Dr Steve Manteaw said the move by government lacks transparency and smacks of possible corruption.
In a rather convoluted move, the Akufo Addo administration set up the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) which curiously engaged a private Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Agyapa Royalties Limited, registered in a notorious tax haven on the British Virgin Islands used by corrupt politicians and companies to hide stolen funds.
Agyapa which is partly owned by the MIIF and an unknown group of “investors” has been tasked to “monetise some US$ 200 million of Ghana’s mining royalties amidst extremely generous terms that work to the detriment of Ghana.
“Suspend the implementation of the Mineral Income Investment Fund Act until all documents relating to the establishment of the special purpose vehicle and its beneficial owners have been disclosed, We sought to access the transaction document from the Mineral Income Investment Fund Secretariat only to discover that it has none.” Dr. Manteaw charged, in what confirms Whatsup News’ exclusive report of August 23, 2020.
“We take this opportunity to call on President Akufo Addo to acknowledge that though the Mineral Income investment and its special purpose vehicle may be legal without public input, It fundamentally goes against his touch with the Ghanaian people particularly the mining communities to cede 20 per cent of mineral royalties to develop the communities.” he said.
Government has faced a barrage of criticism since the approval of the US $ 1 billion deal between itself and Agyapa Royalties Ltd two weeks ago.
The investment agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Agyapa will allegedly make available US $500 million to Ghana immediately, after which a group of unknown private investors will take home some US$ 90 million annually forever as 49% shareholders of Agyapa.
These investors will enjoy complete and risk-free investment in Agyapa, while all the liabilities of the transaction will be piled on Ghana, the 51% shareholder.
Observers have pointed out the tell-tale link of the Jubilee House and President Akufo Addo’s two powerful cousins in the deal.
The transaction advisors to the eyebrow-raising deal included a law firm owned by Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, who is President Akufo Addo’s cousin and right-hand-man at the Presidency.
There are also suspicions that Databank Financial Services Limited may be part of the beneficiaries of the scheme. Whatsup News is still investigating this allegation.
One thing is however certain: investigations by Whatsup News reveals that Asaase/Agyapa Royalties has a relationship with a company called the Pan African Capital Group which incidentally has a link to Databank Financial Services.
Databank Group is a company founded and owned by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta who is tasked with the mandate to protect public funds in a conflict of interest-free responsibility.Additional probes by Whatsup News at the Registrar-General’s Department indicates that directors and Chief Executives of Agyapa and its Ghanaian subsidiary, ARG Royalties are replete with close associates of Gabby, Ken Ofori-Atta and the Jubilee House