The Alliance of Civil Society Organisations working in Extractive, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance has defended its description of the controversial Agyapa Royalties Limited as an elite capture of the people's resources.
The Alliance has been critical of the Special Purpose Vehicle set up to manage the country's Minerals Income Investment Fund describing the transactions in the deal as opaque in nature.
Responding to journalists on whether the CSOs’ posture towards the transaction had changed following their engagement with the Government, the Leader of the Alliance, Dr. Steve Manteaw said it will only change when proven that the deal was transparently awarded.
“The reason I describe this process as elite capture is that when you look through the entire procurement inherent in this process, you find that they all raise serious questions about cronyism, conflict of interest and lack of transparency in the procurement,” he explained.
Some persons and firms affiliated to the government are noted as having benefitted from contracts in the deal including the Senior Minister’s son, the law firm of Gabby Otchere-Darko and Databank, which has links to the Finance Minister.
“When you look at the situation, it creates suspicion,” Dr. Manteaw noted.
Though he said it was not wrong for such persons to benefit from a national deal, there is the need to follow due process to clear doubts.
“There is a way you cure conflict of interest. The surest way is that where you find there are potential conflict situations involved, you open up the process. You cannot resort to headhunting. You have to immediately advertise.”
“I will withdraw my comments if it is proven to me that all these procurements were advertised and that the best candidate actually had the offer,” Dr. Manteaw added.