#GhVetting: Gloria Akuffo never opposed Agyapa Royalties deal – Godfred Dame

Attorney General nominee, Godfred Dame has indicated that former Minister for Justice and Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo was never averse to the Agyapa Royalties deal.

“I stand in all respect with what Madam Gloria Akuffo did in respect of the Agyapa Royalties transaction. I am not opposed at all to anything she did. Secondly, I am indicating for the record that the former Attorney General [Gloria Akuffo] was never opposed to the transaction and that is clear in all the documents available to me,” Mr. Dame told Parliament’s Appointment Committee during his vetting.

In 2020, the Attorney General’s office which was under the leadership of Gloria Akuffo had described the controversial agreement as burdensome and not in the interest of Ghana.

The Attorney General’s office in an opinion sighted by Citi News had explained that the benefits Ghana is expected to derive from the agreement are limited, given the strict obligations and sanctions attached to the deal.

“It is noted, that the nature and purpose of the Minerals Royalties Investment Agreement and the related agreements that there will be a one-off payment of the sum of $1 billion. It is, however, unclear what benefits will come to the Republic of Ghana and the fund other than the one-off payment, considering that this agreement runs in perpetuity with stringent responsibilities of the fund throughout its lifespan.”

“Further, it is noted that the terms and conditions of the agreement are very onerous. The provisions are skewed against the interest of the Fund and the Republic. Both the Fund and the Republic have strict obligations and liabilities with punitive consequences in the event of a breach or default while the other contracting parties are to use their best efforts to ensure the execution of the transaction.”

The Government of Ghana, through the Minerals Income Investment Fund, 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 plans to raise between $500 million and $750 million for the Government on the Ghana and London Stock exchanges to invest in developmental projects.

The deal has been heavily criticized, compelling the government to direct that further discussions on it be suspended.

Assessment by Special Prosecutor’s Office

An analysis of the transaction by the then Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu in a 64-paged report raised red flags over the deal and took a swipe at the Minister of Finance and other officials who contributed to processes that led to the approval by Parliament.

He insisted that several processes were flouted prior to the parliamentary approval.

But the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and other government officials have rejected the claims by the Special Prosecutor.

President Akufo-Addo subsequently directed the Ministry of Finance to send the agreement back to Parliament for review.

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