The Akufo-Addo government is incorrigible about ensuring that the scandalous move to mortgage Ghana’s mineral royalty receipts, is passed by Parliament.
Ghana’s scandal-prone Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has announced that the deal which earned President Akufo-Addo the nickname, “mother serpent of corruption” for attempting to cover up its corrupt root, has had a polish-on-dirt treatment and will soon be sent back to Parliament.
“The Attorney-General has looked at it and we have had a few stakeholder meetings and I think the new board should be energized to review that and then go through the Parliamentary process,” he said.
The Finance Minister whose private company, Databank Financial Services is the main broker of the transaction announced the return of the dubious Agyapa deal at the inauguration of a Board for the Mineral Income Investment Fund in Accra on Tuesday, October 12, 2021.
Ofori Atta adds, “I’m unequivocal that it is the way to go in terms of monetizing our minerals and finding a way to leverage it to reduce the level of debt of the country and move it into equity. And with the concerns that were raised, we should be able to address them and move forward.”
It would be recalled that in August 2020, the NPP Majority in Parliament had passed the dirty deal of Agyapa, with the Minority NDC staging a walkout because of the opacity of the deal to mortgage mineral royalty receipts from 16 mining companies in Ghana.
The NDC’s reasons had included the fact that the Akufio Addo government had refused to answer questions about the suspicious decision to list the so-called Agyapa special purpose vehicle on the London Stock Exchange for management by a group of unknown Board of Directors who would not be subjected to the laws of Ghana.
This shadowy board was going to manage Agyapa for 15 years in exchange for US$500million.
The Minority had made the point that the US$500million that the SPV was seeking to raise could easily be raised from the royalty receipts, together with extra money within the period and therefore the decision to mortgage the receipts made no sense.
The hullabaloo over the issue led to the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, asking for the enlistment of Agyapa on the LSE to be halted so he conducts a corruption risk assessment. That assessment revealed a dirty can of worms, including the fact that Ofori Atta’s Ministry, had hired the Minister’s company using a bid rig that made a South African company fronting for his company, Databank, as winner of the bid to be a transaction advisor.
Amidu had also revealed that in addition to the breaches, there had been even possible money laundering involved. Martin Amidu would conclude the deal was stewed in corruption.
The scandal lowered Akufo-Addo’s public rating suddenly and threatened a loss of the 2020 election. After winning the 2020 election, however, Mr. Akufo-Addo indicated he would have the deal reintroduced in Parliament. The Minority NDC whose numbers have increased in Parliament made it clear that they would vote against the deal if it is reintroduced.