Deputy Finance Minister Charles Boahene says money being raised from the Agyapa Royalties deal will be invested in key infrastructural projects in the country, with a special focus on the mining communities.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, he said investments in these areas will help create more value along the gold value chain.
“We want to focus on investing in 4 broad key areas. Primary capital expenditures in education, in health, in housing and in infrastructure,” he said.
He added that existing schools in the mining areas like the University of Mines and Technology will be upgraded and hopefully a jewellery training course set up to enhance the school’s operation and effectively create profit out of the gold value chain.
Government is also looking to build a refinery for minerals with the money raised from the deal, he added.
Mr Boahene explained that this will help increase the value of the minerals as opposed to being exported in their raw form.
Investment in roads will be focussed around the mining communities and this will help attract more investors and help grow the mining sector in general.
The health of mining workers was also of concern.
“Covid-19 has shown us it is important to have health facilities across the length and breadth of the country and especially in these mining areas where these miners are always working at the risk of their lives,”
His comment comes after some 15 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) demanded a suspension of the Agyapa Royalties deal until all the necessary documents have been disclosed.
The agreement which is 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.
Addressing the concerns of the CSOs at the press conference, Finance Minister insisted that Agyapa Royalties Limited is fully owned by the government of Ghana adding that there are no hidden beneficiaries.
“It is a clean transaction as far as I know and we are just looking for ways to maximise value and to play the game that our multinationals play in and now we have the skillset to be able to do that.”
The Agyapa Royalties deal
Parliament August 14th approved the controversial Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement with the government of Ghana despite a walkout by the Minority.
Two years ago, the house passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018 which establishes the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies, and receive royalties on behalf of government.
The purpose of the fund is to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country.
The law allows the fund to establish Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to use for the appropriate investments. Last month, government introduced an amendment to the act to ensure that the SPVs have unfettered independence.