Government will maximise Ghana’s mineral wealth with Agyapa Royalties deal – Ofori-Atta

Ken Ofori-Atta – Finance Minister

The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, has said the Agyapa Royalties deal was intended to maximise the country’s mineral wealth and create more value along the gold value chain.

He, therefore, refuted claims that some government officials were seeking to use the Agyapa deal to enrich themselves by mortgaging the country’s future mineral royalties, adding, “That state-capture claim is false”.

Addressing a news conference in Accra, to clarify some concerns raised by the Minority NDC and CSOs over the Agyapa agreement, Mr Ofori-Atta said the Agyapa transaction would turn the gold royalties into multiple revenue streams for the country by virtue of listing on the London Stock Exchange and the Ghana Stock Exchange to raise funds upfront for infrastructural development.

“We must be creative in our quest to raise revenue for our development by giving direct access to our resources in a manner that is open, transparent and operates within laws that exist outside our country.

“It is time to re-imagine our future. We’re tired of being cheated by foreign companies and we constraining ourselves from using the same vehicle they use to get funds upfront for investments.

“We must to maximise value of income that is due the Republic from the mineral wealth for the benefit of our citizens.

“We often fail to see the value in our mineral resources because when we’re assessing the effectiveness of our policies and legislations, we limit the extent of our expectations to our national borders.

“We take no interest in what happens to our resources when they leave our shores, and how they’re traded on the foreign markets and how companies leverage such resources to create cheap financing and use different ways to generate profit,”Mr Ofori-Atta stated.

Parliament approved five agreements to allow the country to derive maximum value from its mineral resources and monetize its mineral income sustainably and responsibly, in line with the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act of 2018 (Act 978).

The Act allows the country to use a Special Purpose Vehicle, Agyapa Royalties Limited, as a conduit for securing about one billion dollars to finance the country’s infrastructural projects.

In line with that, Agyapa, which would operate as an independent private sector entity, would be able to raise funds from the capital market, both locally and internationally, as an alternative to the conventional debt capital market transactions.

The funds are expected to be raised from the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) and the London Stock Exchange respectively.

A Deputy Minister of Finance, Charles Adu Boahen, in a presentation, further explained that Agyapa Royalties Limited was a wholly-Ghanaian company with Ghana government having 100 per cent stake holding, but incorporated in Jersey of the United States to make it tax-efficient and provide prospective shareholders the best out of their investments.

He explained that should the shares of the Agyapa Royalties be listed on the London Stock Exchange, the Mineral Income Investment Fund (MIIF), and for that matter, Ghana government would still hold the majority shareholding with more than 50 percent shares.

He said 75.6 per cent of the country’s mineral royalties equity interests would be given to Agyapa Royalties Limited.

Funds from the Agyapa agreement, he said, would be invested in road networks in the mining communities, housing, health and education facilities across the country, as well as construct a gold refinery to add value to the mineral resources to maximise profit.

Source: GNA

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