The flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, has questioned the basis for the agreement between the government and a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) company, Agyapa Royalties Limited.
He said despite the Minority’s objection to it, the Majority in Parliament went ahead to sanction the agreement, which he described as a deal shrouded in secrecy.
A statement signed by the Campaign Spokesperson, Mr James Agyenim-Boateng, said Mr Mahama raised the concerns while addressing supporters of the NDC at Dzodze as part of his four-day tour of the Volta Region.
Parliament last Friday approved five agreements to allow the country to derive maximum value from its mineral resources and monetise its mineral income accruing to the country in a sustainable and responsible manner, in line the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act, 2018 (Act 978).
The approval will enable the country to use a special purpose vehicle, Agyapa Royalties Limited, to secure about $1 billion to finance large infrastructural projects.
In line with that, Agyapa, which will operate as an independent private sector entity, will be able to raise funds from the capital market, both locally and internationally, as an alternative to the conventional debt capital market transactions.
The funds, which are expected to be raised from the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) and the London Stock Exchange (LSE), will be a long-term capital, without a corresponding increase in Ghana’s total debt stock and hence without a public debt repayment obligation.
Mr Mahama said the deal was shrouded in secrecy, as the individuals and shareholders behind the company were still unknown to Ghanaians.
“Up till now they have not disclosed the shareholders of the company who are behind the company,” he added.
He also questioned the prudence of the government’s decision to mortgage Ghana’s mineral royalties over such a long period of years when it has only four months left to be in office, despite the genuine concerns raised by the Minority.
“And for a responsible government, why should you go and invest in an offshore tax haven, where we know that is where fraudulent transactions take place?” he asked.
Mr Mahama also questioned the fairness and effectiveness of the Special Prosecutor in handling corruption cases, especially those that involve government officials.
“There are cases at the Office of the Special Prosecutor but they have tied his hand, he can’t investigate them, they have stopped him, as long as he is an NPP person, he can’t do anything,” he said.
Mr Mahama assured Ghanaians not to lose hope in the fight against corruption, as the new NDC government would investigate all outstanding corruption cases.
“When NDC comes to power, we will investigate all outstanding corruption cases and we are not going to prosecute only our opponents; we will caution our ministers and everybody because if you indulge in corruption, we won’t wait for another government to prosecute, we will prosecute you ourselves,” he warned.