A group of Ghanaian professionals in the diaspora have called on the Akufo-Addo government to abandon the Agyapa Mineral Royalties mortgaging deal, saying it does not hold any advantage for Ghana.
The grouping under a common banner, “Action4Change,” has adopted a stance against what has been variously described as “dirty,” “stinking,” and “sakawa” fraudulent deal after members had heard from a former Deputy Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP)’s California branch, Solomon Owusu.
Mr. Owusu, who is an expert in mining based in Denver, Colorado, had explained the Agyapa deal to the Ghanaians in the diaspora in a virtual meeting through a cyber platform, zoom. He made it clear, that the deal, which is so opaque that even Parliamentarians do not know its exact nature is purposed to put royalties from Ghana’s mineral resources into the clutches of the Akufo-Addo family and their friends.
According to Dr. Owusu, the aim is that when Akufo-Addo is kicked out of power, his family and a few friends will still be in a position to control Ghana’s mineral royalties for at least 15 more years.
“If the deal is 100% owned by the Ghana government as they claimed, why did they register it at a tax haven as a private company to prevent future investigations? Why have they not disclosed the board of directors of the Agyapa company, if it is publicly owned? Why didn’t they advertise the various positions, including the consultants and CEO for other qualified Ghanaians to apply but they just picked certain family members and friends”, Solomon Owusu questioned.
Participants in the meeting included Ghanaians domiciled in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Holland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Republic of Ireland, and others.
Apparently, they had heard about the noises going on back at home about the Agyapa Mineral Royalties deal but did not have first-hand information on it and so invited the expert to educate.
The deal entails the Akufo-Addo government, collateralizing royalty inflows of the Mineral Incomes Investment Fund (MIIF) for US$500,000,000 in exchange for giving away 49% of the inflows for 15 years to private investors.
The deal had raised eyebrows from the get-go because of a conspiracy of issues around it: the Akufo-Addo government has been so obscurantist about the deal that even the Minority MPs in Parliament had to stage a walkout during its passage on account of its opacity.
As part of the secrecy, the directors of the SPV which is to be a company are not known. Also, for reasons that have refused to make sense to anybody, the SPV/company has been incorporated in a tax haven in the UK (Jersey), even though tax havens are known to be places where people who want to hide financial information, including criminal bosses, route their money.