The Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin has mounted a strong defence for the controversial Agyapa Minerals Royalties deal.
According to him, the deal which has been shelved has nothing to do with family and friends as the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has alleged.
According to him, the Agyapa deal was birthed after a meticulous legal process was undertaken, as such, it is impossible for relatives or friends of the President to benefit from such a well-thought-out transaction.
“The facts are that we (Ghana) must have a proper way of investing our mineral revenue and the best way to do it is to anchor it within a certain legislative framework. So as Parliament we enacted the Minerals Income and Investment Law and in it, we gave a clear mandate to MIIF to set up a special purpose vehicle to invest our minerals revenue.
“So with Agyapa, that entity is solely owned by the government. It is not privately owned. It is not owned by any person who is a friend or a relative of some body in authority,” he told Winston Amoah on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Wednesday.
His defence comes after the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu expressed his disappointment in President Akufo-Addo’s State of the Nation Address which was held on Tuesday.
Mr Iddrissu maintained that the NDC side of the House will never accept the transaction which the President has hinted at reintroducing to the Parliament for reconsideration.
“Agyapa returning to the House is a no, no, no. What is the emergency? What do they need $500 million for? They wanting to mortgage our natural mineral resources for the next 25 years or into perpetuity is unacceptable today and unacceptable tomorrow,” he said in an interview with JoyNews’ Kwesi Parker Wilson.
Moreover, the Yapei-Kusawgu MP, John Abdulai Jinapor has also raised questions about the process through which the Agyapa Minerals Royalties deal was drafted.
He indicated that the companies which were involved in finalizing the deal raise red flags about the deal, adding that the deal was opaque and rushed.
“The issue of the Finance Minister’s company and the President’s cousin’s law firms getting involved; we thought that it was not tidy.
“With such a situation, it has far-reaching consequences. All of them should have absolved themselves [from it] and allow independent professionals [to handle the deal]. So all these are issues that ought to be dealt with,” he stated.
But the Effutu legislator accused the NDC MPs of politicising the deal.
In his view, the transaction is being done in the interest of the nation, for which reason the President is reintroducing it to the House.
“Those who are opposed to this, particularly our colleagues in Parliament; what are the specifics that you have infact against this. In any event, is the law not telling us what we should do or didn’t we enact a law in parliament for this to be done?
“In my view, I think the whole controversy at the time was that ‘We are getting closer to election and government was going to get over $500 million. So no, no, no, let us find a way of hitting hard at them’,” he said.
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