Government has suspended the intended launch of an Initial Public Offer (IPO) of the Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited.
The Finance Ministry has explained that the move is to allow the Office of the Special Prosecutor ample time to conduct its corruption risk assessment regarding the transaction.
The decision to halt the process comes on the back of calls by the OSP for more information on the deal which will inform the way forward as to its benefits to Ghana.
The Special Prosecutor had in an earlier letter to the Finance Ministry indicated that information it had been furnished with was inadequate.
“The information and documents you supplied concerned mainly the processes for and the appointment of the Transaction Advisors which goes to the root of any corruption risk assessment.”
It further urged the Ministry “to abide by the results of the corruption risk assessment it is undertaking on the transaction before moving to the launching of the IPO transaction.”
In the latest twist, the Ministry of Finance has given in to the OSP’s demands.
“The Ministry does not intend to proceed with the IPO ahead of the results of the corruption risk assessment by your Office.
A letter signed by the Deputy Finance Minister, Charles Adu Boahene says the move was reached ahead of the OSP’s request for further and better particulars regarding the arrangement.
“This was prior to your office’s request for information and production of document,” the letter read.
“Kindly note that the document was prepared about two months ago by the transaction advisors to update the Minister on the progress of the transaction. The timing expressed in the document was the intention of the transaction advisors at that time and to launch the IPO by the end of September 2020 to be completed by the end of the year,” the Deputy Finance Minister said.
The letter expressed the Ministry’s intention to proceed with the deal between Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limiter and government within the remits of the OSP’s assessment.
“The international investor community has been closely monitoring the outcome of the current state of the transaction, and, it would, therefore, be detrimental to proceed without receiving the necessary approvals and green light from your Office,” it said.
Government says 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 Minority in Parliament had demanded the withdrawal of the contract with Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited over what it believes is an opaque attempt by the NPP-led administration to syphon public funds for their parochial interest.
The Special Prosecutor, in September, began a probe into the controversial Agyapa Mineral Royalties deal and wrote officially to Parliament requesting for information on the deal.
Under the agreement, Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited has been incorporated in Jersey near UK to receive and manage royalties from 16 gold mining leases over the next 15 years or so.
In exchange, the firm will list on the London and Ghana Stock Exchanges later this year and raise at least $500 million for government to invest in infrastructure, health and education.
The listing will allow private people to buy 49% stake in the firm.