Communications officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, has describe as mischievous, the position of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), regarding the ruling on the Agyapa deal by the ECOWAS Court of Justice.
According to him, the opposition party failed to present the true matter of the case before the court for judgement. This, he noted, smacks of insincerity in determining the matter of the case.
“The position that has been taken by our friends in the NPP on the latest judgement from the community court of ECOWAS on the infamous Agyapa deal is mischievous. The claims they are making to the effect that the community court of ECOWAS has certified the Agyapa deal or endorsed it, that there’s nothing wrong with it, there’s no corruption in it, is not borne out by the facts contained in the judgements of the community court of ECOWAS. What they are doing is, they are setting their own questions and they are proceeding to answer them…”Sammy Gyamfi
Elaborating on the position of the NDC with regards to the deal, Mr Gyamfi stated that based on three things, the party contended that the entire rationale behind the deal was totally unacceptable. He highlighted that the deal was seeking to encumber future revenue streams, and that if it had been implemented, would have actually denied future generations and governments of the needed revenue from the country’s mineral royalties which was bad for the country.
Furthermore, he explained that every government when it is elected and takes over office, comes to mobilize revenue due, during the pendency of their tenure and royalties that the country is entitled to as at the time that the government is in office.
He revealed that they use these royalties and taxes to implement their vision for the country, as such, the NDC cannot have a government, come into office, “borrows more than all governments since independence, get taxes more than all governments since independence, more revenues than all governments since independence, waste all those revenues and begin to monetize future revenues so that they can spend that now and deprive future generations and future governments of those revenues”
“… Agyapa simply was about taking 75.6% of the mineral royalties that Ghana is entitled to and vesting that into a so-called special purpose vehicle called Agyapa royalties, first incorporated as Asaase royalties. So, it is not prudent, not wise, for government having wasted the unprecedented resources that has accrued to it, to now seek to encumber future revenue streams in this manner. In fact, they were going to sell 49% of the stake in Agyapa royalties perpetually for $500 million.”Sammy Gyamfi
Case brought before ECOWAS court by the NPP
Moreover, Sammy Gyamfi questioned why government “after getting so much and wasting it, now wants to even go into the future and monetize future revenue streams, like they’ve done in the case of GETFUND”.
Also, he stated that the other reason the NDC have reservations about the deal has to do with the 49% stakes government was going to sell for $500 million, which he claimed was “heavily undervalued”. He highlighted that experts in the field have indicated that since the deal was aborted, Ghana has made far more than the $500 million from mineral royalties, which “proves positive that Agyapa was nothing but a rip-off”.
Furthermore, he stated that the third point has to do with the findings from the Office of the Special Prosecutor, headed then by Martin Amidu, who came out with a “damning” report that the deal was “fraught with procurement rigging” and that there was a risk of “corruption” in the deal.
In light of this, Sammy Gyamfi emphasized that what went to the community court of ECOWAS was a totally different matter. He indicated that the case which was before the court was not that Agyapa deal was fraught with procurement breaches, but a human rights matter.
Also, the NDC communications officer explained that in the determination of every judgement, it is prudent to consider the issue for determination, rule applied by the court and decision of the case.
Moreover, he stated that the court narrowed the issue brought before it to a single claim that: “the court having considered the claims before it and the contentions to the claims has formulated a single issue for determination on the merits, to wit, whether the respondent has breached Article 21 (1) of the African Charter and people’s rights as claimed”.
To this, he noted that the Article 21 (1) says: All peoples shall freely dispose of their wealth and natural resources. This right shall be exercised in the exclusive interest of the people. In no case shall the people be deprived of it”, emphasizing that the case which was before the court was not about procurement breaches.