Former Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Otchere-Darko says the Agyapa Royalties agreement with government is not an avenue for elite capture.
According to the NPP member, the arrangement will rather provide open Ghana up to the alternatives adopted by multinational companies with interests in African minerals over the years.
“Let’s not pretend as if there is something happened that had not happened before. That’s how they [foreigners] have been taking advantage of us over the years and we accept it,” he said.
This approach, Mr Otchere-Darko believes will enable government judiciously invest in the country’s critical sectors to boost development.
His assertions come on the back of allegations by a cross-section of the public that the deal is an orchestrated attempt by the government to siphon the funds from Ghana’s mineral royalties for parochial interests.
But speaking on Ekosii sen on Asempa FM, Mr Otchere-Darko explained that the NPP-led administration is not harbouring any ill-intention to misappropriate public resources for the benefit of a few individuals of superior social status to the detriment of the larger population.
“You cannot say Akufo-Addo is doing elite capture. If he says he is using oil revenues to pay school fees for children, is it elite capture? He says when he assumed office, the school feeding programme covered 1.6 million and has since moved to 3 million children, is it elite capture?” he quizzed.
“If you look at the expansion of the social relief space, in this country today under Akufo-Addo, is this what you call elite capture. If it is elite capture then it means he wants every Ghanaian to rise up to the level of so-called elites,” he said.
The new agreement will enable the country to use a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), Agyapa Royalties Limited, to secure about $1 billion to finance large infrastructural projects.
The agreement said to be in line with the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act, 2018 (Act 978), was passed without support from the Minority in Parliament.