Coalition demands termination of AGYAPA deal

THE Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working on Extractives, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance in Ghana is demanding that President Akufo-Addo completely terminates the Agyapa deal.

The Coalition in a statement said it had  noted with great concern recent revelations at the Public Accounts Committee hearing that a staggering US$ 12 million (which is in excess of GH₵150 million under the prevailing exchange rate) had been spent on administrative and advisory services in relation to the Agyapa deal.

Agyapa is the current government’s attempt to mortgage 75.6% of the country’s mineral revenue in perpetuity.

According to the arrangement, Agyapa Royalties will receive 75.6% of royalties from a selected portfolio of underlying gold mines (12 producing gold mines and 4 mines under development) under the current mining leases.

Coalition made of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy , the Natural Resource Governance Institute , IMANI Centre for Policy and Education and the  Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) among others said it recalled that at the time of suspension of the deal in 2020 by the President, there was no disclosure on expenses related to the deal.

The recent Auditor General’s reports (2020, 2021 and 2022) on Public Boards, Corporations and other Statutory Institutions were silent on any expenditure related to the scandalous Agyapa deal.

According to the statement, the lack of accountability affirmed concerns raised by the Coalition in previous statements about the lack of transparency around the Agyapa transaction.

It was instructive to note that between 2020 and 2022, cumulative mineral royalty receipts by the state were in excess of USD 720 million, half of which would have been forfeited for the upfront USD 500 million sought through the ill-reputed Agyapa deal,  giving credence to the value for money concerns raised by the Coalition.

Given the insistence by the people of Ghana that Agyapa was a bad business case and a drain on the public purse, the President on March 9th 2021 indicated in his address on the State of the Nation that “…government will come back and engage the house on the steps it intends to take on the future of the Agyapa transaction.”

That  stance was further reiterated by the then Minister of Finance at his vetting on  March  26th 2021 that the deal would be resubmitted to parliament for consideration.

In spite of that commitment, there had not been any public engagements, the statement noted.

The Coalition said it was aware of other Agyapa-linked processes that were ongoing, including negotiating a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) and a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with Jersey, where the Agyapa Royalties Limited was intending to be hosted.

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