The honorary Vice-President of IMANI-Africa has described as unfair comments by government that the inputs of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country on the Agyapa deal are not needed.
Bright Simons said CSOs play a critical role in ensuring accountability by government, therefore, saying their efforts are not needed is unfortunate.
“To expect that the ordinary citizen who has been through all the day to day hustle of living in Accra, Kumasi or Sunyani will be able to go through these documents and make an informed decision about whether or not they support the government is completely unrealistic.
“So it the role of organisations like ours to spend time and go through these documents so that we can provide a dispassionate and an objective perspective that can help ordinary citizens to come to some conclusions that are informed and balanced,” he told Samson Lardy Anyenini on Newsfile, Saturday.
His comments come after government said it has rejected the content of a letter issued by the CSOs raising issues on why the Agyapa deal must be suspended.
In the letter, the CSOs suggested among other claims that the timeline of four months to Initial Public Offering (IPO) is problematic, therefore to ensure favourable pricing of the offered securities, the timeline for listing any MIIF SPV on any international exchange should be extended to at least April 2021.
Prior to this, 15 CSOs in the country had held a press conference to demand the suspension of the deal for what they described as a lack of transparency by government and the processes involved.
But government at another conference held by the Finance Ministry to clarify issues on the Agyapa deal, discounted the letter saying that processes involved has been very public.
Reacting to this, Bright Simons said it was unfortunate for government to have rejected their request.
He said CSOs have a critical role to play by interpreting issues to the public to help them make informed decisions, therefore, government rejecting their efforts is unfortunate.
“I think [our role] is very critical unless the position is that once somebody is elected and then sent to Parliament or sent to the Jubilee house, that person has the complete authority to disregard any further views of citizens in the way that they formulate policies. I don’t think that is sound,” he added.