The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has reportedly defended the Agyapa Royalties agreement as transparent, countering a corruption risk assessment report by Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu, on the controversial deal.
Mr Amidu’s risk assessment of the deal has pointed to a deliberate effort by the Finance Ministry to bypass some procedures.
However, Citi News cites a memo by Mr Ofori-Atta it has sighted and reports that the Minister insists that the processes leading to the signing of the agreement followed due process.
“Prior to initiating the Transaction, MoF ensured to undertake all the necessary prerequisite action required by law, from the procurement of transaction advisors to the submission of transaction documents to the AG and Parliament for their review, input and approval.
“This Ministry believes that it has been transparent from the onset. Once Government had independently assessed the potential value of the Transaction to Ghana, and Cabinet had approved the policy to monetize future gold royalties to support current developmental projects, MoF included in the 2018 Budget and Economic Policy Statement, Government’s intention to leverage the future wealth of Ghana’s gold resources to support current developmental needs,” the Citi News report on Monday, November 2, 2020, quotes from the said memo it has sighted.
Mr Martin Amidu in September this year asked the Ministry of Finance to suspend a planned Initial Public Offer (IPO) of the Agyapa Royalties deal on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) following a huge backlash the deal received by experts and members of the public.
Many experts criticised the deal as fishy, saying it fails the test of transparency.
Mr Amidu asked for the deal to be put on hold to enable his Office to complete a corruption risk assessment.
On Monday, November 2, 2020, Mr Amidu announced in a statement that he has completed his corruption risk assessment in the controversial deal.
“The analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment was completed and signed by the Special Prosecutor on 15 October 2020. The Special Prosecutor in a letter with reference number OSP/SCR/20/12/20 dated 16 October 2020 conveyed the conclusions and observations of the anti-corruption assessment to H. E. the President and the Hon. Minister of Finance as a matter of courtesy before informing the public,” the Office of the Special Prosecutor announced.
The President has since asked Mr Ofori-Atta to return to Parliament after the December 7 polls with the deal to tie all loose ends.