January 22, 2021
Business

MARTIN AMIDU COMPLETES AGYAPA CORRUPTION RISK ASSESSMENT REP …

Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu has announced the completion of the Corruption Risk Assessment into the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal.

In a press release issued by his office, Mr. Amidu said he had conveyed the conclusions and observations to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta some two weeks ago in what he says was an action taken out of courtesy before making the announcement public.

“The analysis of the risk of corruption and anti-corruption assessment was completed and signed by the Special Prosecutor on 15th October 2020. The Special Prosecutor in a letter with reference number OSP/SCR/20/12/20 dated 16th 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.”

In August this year, the OSP, as part of its mandate, requested from the Finance Ministry documents regarding the special purpose vehicle (SPV) which help the country secure about $1 billion to finance infrastructural projects.

This followed criticisms from Civil Society Organisations about red flags in the transaction.

The Minority in Parliament has described the deal as one shrouded in secrecy adding that its nature had the propensity to breed corruption, a position that government has vehemently rejected.

Dr Steve Manteaw, Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas demanded that the Special Prosecutor looks into allegations of nepotism in investigations into the Agyapa Royalties deal.

His comment follows the Finance Ministry’s suspension of the planned launch of the Initial Public Offer (IPO) amid Martin Amidu’s ongoing corruption risk assessment of the transaction.

The Special Prosecutor in the press release indicated that “Two weeks is more than too long for this Office to continue withholding the announcement of the completion of its sixty-four (64) page report to the public. It is important that this Office has the freedom to discharge its anti-corruption mandate and keep the public informed. I have, therefore, decided to bring the facts of the conclusion of the anti-corruption assessment of the Agyapa Royalties Transactions by this Office to the attention of the public and to avoid the continued speculations on this matter,”.

The controversial deal was suspended by the government  last month after intense public and CSO complaints of suspected corruption.

The Minister for Finance in a notice to Parliament said the decision to suspend it was to enable the Special Prosecutor to conclude his corruption risk assessment into the deal.

Martin Amidu earlier blamed the Finance Ministry for the delay in completing his work on the deal.

Mr. Amidu wrote to the Finance Ministry asking “for them to give us the full payments made to the Ministry of Finance to these transaction advisors since the contract begun in 2018 and also to the international service providers.”

 About the deal

The Agyapa deal is a by-product of the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act.

In 2018, Parliament passed the Act which establishes the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies and receive royalties on behalf of the government.

The purpose of the fund is to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country.

The government then, through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), set up Agyapa Royalties Limited to monetize Ghana’s gold royalties 

This was after Parliament on August 14, 2020, approved the Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement with the Government of Ghana despite the walkout by the Minority.

The company plans to raise between $500 million and $750 million for the government on the Ghana and London Stock Exchanges to invest in developmental projects.

The deal has generated public discourse with some Civil Society Organisations vowing to reject the agreement claiming it is a total rip-off.

 Below is a copy of the press release

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