Richard Ahiagbah, Director of Communications for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has recounted the history behind the Agyapa Royalties Deal.
The NPP Communications Director demonstrated the deal’s intended use, while claiming to be familiar with it. According to him, the Agyapa Agreement was established in 2018 in accordance with Act 178 by the Minority and Majority Caucuses to create a body that will oversee Ghana’s equity stake in mining businesses. He did, however, claim that the Agyapa Deal reverberated throughout the 2020 election cycle.
He said that the arrangement was intended to help Ghanaians and was a component of the Mineral Income Investment Fund’s (MIIF) plan, which included securitizing the money Ghana receives from mining corporations. He claimed that the Act was modified in 2020 to provide it the opportunity to establish a special purpose, in order to realize that goal.
“And so, it was around this time that conversations on it being an interference on the rights of Ghanaians to have access to their natural resources, started. And therefore, the suggestion that it was something laid down against the interest of Ghanaians.
“The individuals who were working to craft that complex deal to ensure that Ghana has the capacity to be able to securitize its mineral royalties or income, having identified them and raising some concerns immediately without verification or proof, that there was something being done. And it was characterized as a total takeover of the mineral resources by one family; a family of the President seeking to wrestle it away from Ghanaians and for their own personal benefit.”Richard Ahiagbah
This, according to Richard Ahiagbah, caused many people to start talking about the deal. He recalled how former President John Dramani Mahama had questioned the government, during a tour in the Volta Region, about what the Gov’t planned to do with the GHC1 billion it hoped to generate from the securitization the government was planning to announce.
Additionally, he claimed that this set off a flurry with the involvement of civil society organizations, which ultimately led to the Special Prosecutor opening an investigation into possible corruption risks, associated with the overall scheme to allow Ghana to raise money on the capital market without it being directly tied to debt held by the government.
“So that the myth through the special purpose vehicle will be on its own, more or less as an independent entity that will be able to go to market on the strength of its resources and be able to raise money and invest in big capital projects. And also, to improve infrastructure in Ghana, specifically in the area of mining to build domestic capacity.
“And so, that was the view that Agyapa eventually was supposed to achieve for Ghana, but then because of the individuals who were helping to bring this to life, people realized or concluded without evidence that there was something untold being done. So, there were agitations…Even though the ministry of finance engaged severally with CSOs and all interest groups to ensure that clarity prevailed…Yet it didn’t.”Richard Ahiagbah
Agyapa Was Supposed To Be Listed In The London Stock Exchange
Richard Ahiagbah further disclosed that the Agyapa transaction was at one point intended to be listed on both the London Stock Exchange and the Ghana Stock Exchange.
He said that due to the antagonistic tenor of the dialogue, the time for the stock market listing had passed, and the President had instructed the Minister to examine and resubmit some of the agreements to parliament at a later time.
He added that the arrangement had not been brought back to parliament from where it had ended up.
“So, this group which was led by a few like Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and he Anti-corruption collation went to the ECOWAS court to seek more than 5 relieves, to try to end or investigate the Agyapa Deal all together. Their principal relieve was to suggest that Gov’t was affecting the rights of Ghanaians to control their resource or wealth. And so, this was the relieve before the court. And the court having examined the evidence, came out with the conclusion that there was possibly no evidence of corruption.”Richard Ahiagbah