A former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Minerals Commission, Dr Tony Aubynn has urged government to pull the brakes on the Agyapa royalties deal and listen to concerns being raised by the Civil Society Organisations.
Speaking on the Morning Starr Tuesday, Dr Aubynn said the entire deal is worrying and the government has a mandate to be transparent to Ghanaians since the mineral resources belong to the country and not some individuals.
“I don’t think the intent is that worrying but the way it has been approached and the political approach is worrying. I think that 76% of the resources will be mortgaged for perpetuity is another worrying sign and government has to explain. Again, the 49%, 51% has to be properly explained by government.
“I know in a deal like this not everything must be in public but a large section of it must be brought to people who know. I think in a very significant deal like this, I will not rush it. Because it involves our gold and 76% of our mineral revenue. I have tweeted that government should listen to what has been said because they [gov’t] were doing it in the interest of Ghanaians. So I think they should pull the brakes and explain issues raised by the Ghanaian public,” Dr Aubynn told Morning Starr host Francis Abban.
A lot of concern has been raised about the Agyapa Royalty deal by a section of the public including the Minority in Parliament who have questioned the credibility of the agreement. They have also called for a withdrawal of the deal.
Also, 15 Civil Society Organisations on Tuesday held a press conference to kick against the deal.
At the conference, the CSOs made an emphatic demand for a suspension of the deal until all documents relating to the beneficial owners of the deal are disclosed.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akufo, has reportedly described the inability of the state to review or evaluate the effectiveness of the Agyapa Royalties deal in future as “unconscionable”.
The Founding President of Policy Think Tank, IMANI Africa, Franklyn Cudjoe has also described as broad daylight robbery and insult to the sensibility of Ghanaians, the spirited effort by the Finance Ministry and government officials over the controversial Agyapa Royalties agreement.
“It is “atrimuoden” (wickedness) on the part of the Akufo-Addo administration to shortchange Ghanaians. I’m struggling to understand this deal, and the more I think about it I get angry…I think we are not serious as a nation,” Mr Cudjoe said.