The Office of the Special Prosecutor has stated that the non-submission of all information and documents on the Agyapa Gold Royalties Transaction from the Ministry of Finance is impeding his ongoing corruption risk assessment on the deal.
In a letter addressed to the Minister of Finance and sighted by Citi News, the Special Prosecutor indicated that despite the fact that the Ministry had already submitted some documents to the office, critical information that concerns the launch of the Initial Public Offer (IPO) for Agyapa Royalties remain outstanding.
The letter further stressed the need for the Ministry to comply with the request for information before the IPO of Agyapa Royalties commences.
“This Office would have wished to complete its corruption risk assessment on the Agyapa Royalties Transaction soonest but for the non-submission of the information and documents pending to be submitted by your Ministry. The information and documents you supplied concerned mainly the processes for and the appointment of the Transaction Advisors which goes to the root of any corruption risk assessment.”
“Information and documents relating to the identification and recommendation by the transaction advisors to your Ministry for appointment a list of other services providers and or underwriters that may be required to complete the transaction as provided in clause 2.2.1 of the mandate agreement amongst others, that are critical to any through corruption risk assessment are also outstanding. The legal opinions particularly of the principal legal advisor to the government under the Constitution are relevant to ensure compliance with her recommendations as part of any corruption risk assessment.”
Mr. Amidu has thus urged the Ministry to hold on with the launching of the IPO until his office completes the corruption risk assessment it is currently undertaking.
“In the circumstances, this Office wishes to urge you to abide by the results of the corruption risk assessment it is undertaking on the transaction before moving to the launching of the IPO transaction. This Office makes this suggestion on the grounds of prudence on your part and to also not give the impression that the mandate of this Office on prevention of corruption is of no consequence to the transaction.”
The Special Prosecutor had earlier written to Parliament to furnish his office with the necessary documents regarding the deal.
The request was in line with the mandate of the office to exercise the functions and powers of prevention of corrupt activities.
About the deal
In 2018, Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018 which establishes the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies and receive royalties on behalf of the government.
The purpose of the fund is to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country.
The government then, through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), set up Agyapa Royalties Limited to monetize Ghana's gold royalties.
This was after Parliament on August 14, 2020, approved the Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement with the Government of Ghana despite the walkout by the Minority.
In exchange, the company plans to raise between $500 million and $750 million for the government on the Ghana and London Stock exchanges to invest in developmental projects.
The deal, however, has become a topical issue following concerns from members of the opposition.
Civil Society groups in Mines and Energy have also described the Special Purpose Vehicle as one which is not transparent and must be suspended.
But the government insists the deal is in the best interest of the country.