Members of the Minority in Parliament have indicated that they will kick against the controversial Agyapa Mineral Royalties deal if it is brought back to Parliament for approval.
The caucus maintains that the deal remains bad and will not serve the interest of Ghanaians if passed.
The leader of the caucus, Haruna Iddrisu in an interview with Citi News after President Nana Akufo-Addo’s delivery of the 2021 State of the Nation Address on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, said he is not convinced about the propriety of the deal.
“Agyapa [coming] back [means] corruption is back. We will not support it. I am very certain in my mind and I remain unconvinced,” he said.
While delivering his first State of the Nation address in his second term in office, Nana Akufo-Addo hinted that the controversial deal that failed to see the light of day in the 7th Parliament will be resurrected in the 8th Parliament.
Members of the Minority who kicked against the deal when it first came up in Akufo-Addo’s first term insist that they will not back it when the president retables it in Parliament.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Yapei-Kusawgu, John Abdulai Jinapor, in an interview on Eyewitness News also kicked against the attempt to bring back the rejected deal to parliament.
“The interest of the Minority is that of Ghana. We will be part of any process that will inure to the benefit of this country. We haven’t even seen the document, we haven’t seen what they are bringing but given the record of this government and our experience with them, I will be surprised if they bring anything good, that is why I maintain that if it comes in this form, it should be considered dead on arrival,” he said.
“Our position is clear that if Agyapa is brought back with all those issues, it should be considered dead on arrival. We will not be part of any attempt to mismanage the future resources and mortgage the future of the youth to some selected individuals and their personal gains. That will not happen in this parliament,” he added.
Meanwhile, the President of IMANI Africa, one of the dozens of civil society organizations that raised alarm and called for the withdrawal of the deal said they are not surprised about the decision to reintroduce the deal and will wait to sight the new document that the government will present on the deal to make their position clear.
“For many of us in CSO space, we are not entirely surprised… We are just waiting. These are early days yet to I would believe that the president would have taken the lessons and then made sure that the deal comes back in another form that meets the demand of everybody who has concerns about it,” he said.
During his first term in office, President Nana Akufo-Addo, through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), set up Agyapa Royalties Limited to securitize Ghana’s gold royalties.
This was after Parliament on August 14 approved the Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement with the government of Ghana despite the walkout by the Minority.
In exchange, the company had wanted to raise between $500 million and $750 million for the Government on the Ghana and London Stock exchanges to invest in developmental projects.
The move was heavily criticized. Following a damning assessment done by the Office of the Special Prosecutor, the government subsequently suspended the transaction and asked the then Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to retable the deal before Parliament.
The Special Prosecutor’s office insisted that several processes were flouted prior to the parliamentary approval.
But the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and other government officials rejected the claims by the office.