Benjamin Boakye is Executive Director for Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP)

Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has described as unfortunate the posturing of government to maintain some modalities involved in the agreement with Agyapa Minerals Royalties Limited.

Benjamin Boakye explained that it would be an exercise in futility if government sticks to its entrenched stance to withhold valuable information regarding the deal even after a meeting with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

“Even though the ministry agreed to do consultation, the meat of the whole thing is that they will consult but not change course and we don’t think that’s in good faith,” he told Evans Mensah, Tuesday.

This comes on the back of calls by a group of CSOs on Tuesday reiterated their demand for government to suspend the implementation of the deal.

This, according to the CSOs, is because government is massaging the data made available through the Finance Ministry.

“At our last meeting with the Ministry, some slides containing some data were presented.”

“However, when we requested for copies, those particular slides of interest to us were omitted either deliberately or inadvertently,” a spokesperson for the group, Dr. Steve Manteaw.

The new agreement is expected to enable the country to use a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Agyapa Royalties Limited, to secure about $1 billion to finance infrastructural projects.

The CSOs suspect some underreporting if figures as to the annual revenue accrued from the gold royalties.

The $150 million quotation by the Deputy Finance Minister at the meeting was found to be actually $200m after independent checks by the CSOs.

To this end, they are disputing the modality by which government arrived at its $1 billion valuation of the total transaction.

Member of Parliament for Sekondi, Andrew Egyapa Mercer has fought off the claims that the government is misrepresenting the figures regarding the valuation of the transaction.

According to him, the inability to access the full data and assumptions is due to some regulatory guidelines surrounding the approval mechanisms of regulatory institutions involved in the transaction.

“The ministry is saying that the information that we used for the valuation is required if us to provide to a certain regulatory authority for approval. So, yes we show it to you but we can’t make copies available,” he said on Joy FM’s Top Story.

But Benjamin Boakye would have none of that.

He further believes that government must demonstrate its touted much-touted transparency by availing itself to “welcome perspective on what is expected [returns on royalties] and answer the relevant questions as to how you valued the assets and what other options were available before the ministry decided to actually go to the stock market.

Parliament in August approved the Agyapa deal to allow government monitize future royalties from gold in exchange for a US$500 million lump sum to invest in development projects. Agyapa Minerals Royalties Limited has been established as the special purpose vehicle through which the monetization will be done.

Government says it will float 49% of shares in the company to raise US$1 billion out of which $500 million will be invested in health, education, infrastructure and other development initiatives.

The rest of the money will remain Agyapa’s operating capital.