Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta and his deputy, Charles Adu Boahene have been thoroughly roasted for suggesting that only investment bankers can properly analyse the fraudulent Agyapa Royalties deal.
Last week, in response to the detailed criticism of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on the questionable nature of the Agyapa/Asaase Royalties transaction, the Deputy Finance Minister, Charles Adu Boahen and the main transaction advisor to the deal and President Akufo Addo’s cousin, Gabby Otchere-Darko went into hysteria, describing the CSOs as no having enough investment acumen to critique the deal.
“We are being invited to trust the researched opinion of Bright Simons and his group against the 80yrs of stock market/asset management experience of Ken Ofori-Atta, Charles Adu-Boahen and Kofi Osafo-Marfo,” Mr. Otchere Darko posted on his social media page.
This immediately earned him ridicule for underestimating the capacity of CSOs. “Ha ha ha ha…At least Mr. Otchere-Darko is always upfront when his interests are concerned. But this is not a simple asset management issue. It is a National Assets Protection matter. The CSOs are pitching 1200 years of policy experience against that of named individuals,” Bright Simmons, an executive member of policy think-tank IMANI fired back.
Another expert from IMANA, Kofi Bentil fired: “We fought hard to hand you this nation because we believed you could govern better. Then you start with 110 ministers, only 50 of whom have anything to show as work after 4 years. And you produce messes like PDS etc., now Agyapa!!! And you say we can’t think or read because we are not investment bankers? Even if I don’t know how to cook, I know how bad soup tastes!”
Mr. Bentil warned that no attempt to divert the discussion will distract CSOs from scrutinising the shady Agyapa/Asaase deal. “But rest assured our combined relevant experience is multiples of what you tout. And note, we never tout expertise when we question the decision of our leaders. We do so as citizens and demand answers because you work for us!
The Akufo Addo administration through a clique of closely-knit appointees, family and friends are seriously championing the Agyapa deal which will see Ghana ceding 75.6 % of its US$ 250 million royalties from mining companies annually to Agyapa Royalties to allegedly “monetise” it on stock markets in Ghana and London.
However, experts and analysts have pointed out the opaque nature of the deal, as the government has refused to name the main shareholders of Agyapa who would be owning 49% of the royalties issued them.
Also, the circumstances to which the Agyapa deal was passed through Parliament has come under serious questions, as it is established that it was rushed through the august house without proper scrutiny.
Also, the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act that enables the monetisation of Ghana;’s royalties was strangely amended to give sweeping waivers for the private shareholders of Agyapa, while the MIIF Fund and Ghana have been forced to forego certain sovereign privileges such as losing taxes as well as Ghana being incapacitated from being able to invoke the Public Financial Management Act in the event of possible acts of corruption in how the royalties are handled.
“In any case, one does not need to be an investment banker or be interested in investment banking in order to form or express an intelligent opinion on a transaction involving our sovereign assets. The debate here is not about investment banking. It is about how best to extract and maximize value from our sovereign mineral resources and receipts. It is a debate for Main Street, first and foremost, not one to be outsourced to Wall Street,” noted Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, the Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).