Finance Minister Parries
…Says Deal Has Been Transparent From Onset
By Our Monitoring Team
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has parried accusations that his outfit erred the controversial Agyapa deal saying that due diligence was done in regards to the processes that led to the approval of the Agyapa Royalties Agreement in Parliament.
Ken Ofori-Atta response follows a directive from President Akufo-Addo to the Finance Ministry to return the deal to Parliament for further scrutiny after a corruption risk assessment report by Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu was sent to the Presidency.
Recall that in a report from the Office of the Special Prosecutor on the deal, Mr Amidu had raised red flags against the deal and insisted that a number of processes were deliberately side-stepped.
According to the Special Prosecutor, the selection and appointment of advisors for the agreement did not meet the “fundamentals of probity, transparency and accountability.”
He also alleged that all the various officials who took part in the processes leading to the approval of the deal by Parliament flouted several laws with impunity.
But defending the deal, Mr. Ofori-Atta in a memo copied to the President, a copy of which is in the possession of this paper (published on page 8) said his Ministry has been transparent throughout the transaction process.
He argued that the approval by the Attorney General and Parliament was evidence of the transparent nature of the deal and the processes involved despite the allegations made by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
“This Ministry believes that it has been transparent from the onset,” part of the memo read.
The Agyapa Deal, which is said to be in line with the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act 2018 (Act 978) was passed by Parliament on August 14.
The new agreement will enable the country to use a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Agyapa Royalties Limited, to secure about $1 billion to finance large infrastructural projects.
The transaction has however been met with stiff opposition from members of the NDC, some civil society organizations, and a cross-section of Ghanaians.
Subsequently, the Office of the Special Prosecutor advised the government to pull the brakes on its planned launch of an Initial Public Offer (IPO) regarding the Agyapa Royalties agreement.
According to Martin Amidu, the move was to allow his outfit the opportunity to conclude its ongoing corruption risk assessment.
After submitting the report to the Presidency on October 15, President Akufo-Addo instructed the Finance Minister to send the deal back to Parliament for further scrutiny.