Cassiel Ato Forson

Former Deputy Finance Minister Cassiel Ato Forson says the Minority in Parliament will reject the Agyapa deal if it is brought back to the House for consideration.

Speaking on Top Story on Joy FM, Tuesday, he said that the structure of the Agyapa deal is bad adding that it will be in the country’s interest if it does not see the light of day.

“We want to use this medium to assure the people of Ghana that we the members of the NDC minority, will not accept Agyapa in any form. They can decide to change the name, give it a new colour, clothe it in any form, bring it differently, Agyapa is still Agyapa.”

“We will not allow it to go through today or tomorrow, and we have decided that we will fight against this structure as it stands,” Dr Ato Forson told host, Evans Mensah.

His comment comes after President Akufo-Addo said the government will come back to engage Parliament on the steps it intends to take on the future of the Agyapa transaction.

Delivering his State of the Nation Address (SONA) Tuesday, he hinted that the controversial deal that failed to see the light of day in the 7th Parliament will be resurrected in the 8th Parliament.

Dr Ato Forson questioned why the President will want Parliament to revisit the Agyapa deal when many Civil Society Organisations and Ghanaians vehemently opposed the deal since its inception.

The Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Constituency MP said that it is “disrespectful” for President Akufo-Addo to ignore the people’s wishes and attempt to get the Agyapa deal approved,

“He should rather tell us that he has listened to the people of Ghana and in the end, he has cancelled Agyapa.”

Background

On August 14, 2020, Parliament approved the Agyapa Minerals Royalties Investment Agreement and four related documents to allow for the monetisation of Ghana’s future gold royalties.

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 a 49 per cent stake in the firm.

However, some 22 civil society organisations called for a suspension of the deal, insisting it was not in the interest of Ghana.

Some 15 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) under the umbrella name Alliance of CSOs working on Extractive, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance also demanded the immediate suspension of the implementation of the controversial Special Purpose Vehicle, Agyapa Royalties Limited established by government though the Minerals Income Investment Fund.

Former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu’s Corruption Risk Assessment on Agyapa deal also raised red flags over the deal, describing the deal as fraught with corruption.