Policy think-tank, IMANI Africa has presented a detailed justification for its opposition to the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal.
In a 17-paged document, IMANI Africa among other things cited the level of what it calls “information-hiding” of the 4-month timeline to the IPO, and the claim that dividends will seamlessly substitute for royalties.
The Agyapa Royalties deal has become a topical subject for public discussion after members of the opposition sounded caution over it and described it as a total “rip-off.”
Notable among those speaking against the deal is flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama who during his campaign tour in the Volta Region alleged that cronies of President Akufo-Addo are seeking to cut dubious deals by buying off 49% shares, in the publicly listed company which the government intends to use as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to raise funds for developmental projects.
Civil Society groups in Mines and Energy have also described the SPV as one which is not transparent and must be suspended.
IMANI, which is among the CSO’s against the deal stated in a document that “the degree of information-hiding has been so intense that, per the official record, it took the Ministry of Finance more than a year to share the full set of agreements with the Government’s own Attorney General following an initial request for legal review in January 2019. Unsurprisingly, the final agreement ratified by Parliament defies many pieces of advice offered by the Attorney General, including a suggestion that the Investment Agreement be limited to a fixed term of 30 years.”
IMANI further contended that the government’s plans of leveraging Ghana’s mineral royalties to secure about $1 billion is an undervaluation of the country’s mineral resources.
“There is a case to be made for diversifying the country’s sovereign wealth strategy and acquiring some geo-economic influence, but that should not be pursued at the high cost of valuing 75% of all of Ghana’s future royalties at 30% of their true value. The $1 billion valuation of these massive resource entitlements is unconscionable and amounts to undervaluing Ghana’s resources by over 65%,” IMANI further indicated.