BUSINESS NEWS: Ken Ofori-Atta Defends 'Controversial' Agyapa Deal
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta says his Ministry carried out the necessary due diligence with regards to the processes that led to the approval of the Agyapa Royalties Agreement in Parliament.
His comments come in the wake of a directive from the president to his Ministry to return the deal to Parliament for further scrutiny after a corruption risk assessment report by Special prosecutor 'Martin Amidu was forwarded to the presidency.
The special prosecutor in his report questioned aspects of the deal and insisted that a number of processes were deliberately sidestepped.
According to the special prosecutor, the selection and appointment of advisors for the agreement did not meet the "fundamentals of probity, transparency, and accountability.
He also alleged that the various officials who took part in the processes leading to the approval of the deal by Parliament flouted several laws with impunity.
But in a rebuttal, Mr. Ofori-Atta in a memo copied to the president and sighted by ThinkNews Online insists his Ministry has been transparent throughout the transaction process.
He argued that the seal of approval given the deal by both the Attorney-General and Parliament was enough evidence of the transparent nature of the deal and the processes involved despite suggestions to the contrary made by the office of the Special Prosecutor.
"This Ministry believes that it has been transparent from the onset", part of the memo read.
The Agyapa Deal, which is said to be in line with the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act 2018 (Act 978) was passed by parliament on August 14.
The new agreement will enable the country to use a special purpose vehicle (SPV), Agyapa Royalties Limited, to secure about $I billion to finance large infrastructural projects.
The transaction has however been met with stiff opposition from members of the NDC, some civil society organizations, and a cross-section of Ghanaians.
The office of the special prosecutor has subsequently advised the state to halt the processes involved in bringing the deal to fruition, with particular reference to the planned launch of an initial public offer (IPO), regarding the Agyapa Royalties agreement.
According to a special prosecutor, Martin Amidu, the move would allow his outfit the opportunity to conclude its ongoing Corruption risk assessment.
After submitting the report to the presidency on October 15, President Akufo-Addo instructed the Finance Minister to send the deal back to parliament for further scrutiny.
See memo below:
Story by: Rodney Tsenuokpor