Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have exposed the Akufo Addo administration for deliberately under-reporting the true value of Ghana’s annual mineral royalties, so that it can make a takeover easy for the scandalous Agyapa Royalty deal.
Apparently, the government has slashed off some US$ 50 million from the true value of royalties that came to Ghana in 2019.
According to them, the data seen is from the Chamber of Mines show that Ghana made some US$ 200 million in 2019, but the Ken Ofori-Atta-led Ministry of Finance is reporting US$ 150 million as figures presented to facilitate the scandalous Agyapa deal.
On Tuesday, during a press briefing, Dr Steve Manteaw who speaks for over 22 CSOs in Ghana narrated how the Ministry of Finance was deliberately shielding the true picture of royalty receipts from the Ghanaian public.
“At our last meeting with the Ministry, some slides containing some data were presented. However, when we requested for copies, those particular slides of interest to us were omitted either deliberately or inadvertently. When a direct question was posed to the Deputy Minister of Finance on the amount of royalties received from gold in 2019, he said Ghana received about ¢650 million ($123 million),” Dr. Manteaw narrated.
“The truth is that Ghana received ¢1.06 billion ($200 million) from the big companies under the Chamber of Mines alone. Government has data on the other receipts, yet it decided to under-report the numbers. Again, in our meeting with the Finance Ministry, we were given half-year receipts for 2019 of $72 million (¢366 million). The underreporting of the 2019 revenue which is the most significant period for revenue projection and emphasis on old royalty numbers is intriguing,” Dr Manteaw added.
Speaking on the same allegation, the Deputy Executive Director for Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Benjamin Boakye confirmed the deliberate cover-up by the Akufo Addo administration.
The Agyapa/Asaase Royalties deal has been fraught in extremely questionable antics, since its inception, including the fact that almost all the key players in the deal are somehow connected to the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta and the Presidency, including President Akufo Addo’s cousin and right-hand-man, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko.
Indeed, recently, the global Watchdog for illegal offshore capital movement has flagged Ghana’s controversial Agyapa Royalty deal as fraudulent and an attempt by its promoters to rob Ghana of its resources and hand it over to “Shadow Bankers” on Wall Street.
Under the deal, the Minerals Investment Fund supposedly uses Agyapa Minerals Royalties as a Special Purpose Vehicle, to borrow US$1billion from investors through listing on the London Stock Exchange, using government’s royalty receipts from mining companies as collateral.
Interestingly, the Agyapa which is the Special Purpose Vehicle for the supposed monetization was registered in a notorious tax haven in Jersey on the British Channel Islands.
The deal is however shrouded in so much secrecy that even the Minority in Parliament do not know who the Directors of the SPV or investors are even though the law has been crafted in such a way that overseas directors of Agyapa which will be incorporated in a tax haven in the UK (Jersey) cannot be removed in future. This is in spite of the fact that these overseas directors will have control over the local subsidiary of called Agyapa Royalties Ghana (ARG).