Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, John Jinapor, says his side will not tolerate the re-introduction of the once rejected Agyapa minerals royalties deal.
This follows hints by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta about the revival of the deal.
The deal, which seeks to securitize Ghana's mineral resources for development, was dropped following stiff opposition.
But the government says engagements are ongoing to retable the deal in Parliament.
In an interview with Citi News, John Jinapor urged government to find ways of protecting Ghana’s mineral reserves instead.
“The Finance Minister has made the pronouncement, so we are waiting for what he will bring, but from my point of view, we should be thinking about saving money. We should be building buffers rather than spending future receivables.”
“The Minister has already given a hint of collateralizing the unpopular E-levy, so to add Agyapa to it and collateralize our mineral resources for me is most unfortunate. It is untenable because COVID-19 has taught us that, we cannot predict the future. That is a position we [Minority] will maintain.”
Speaking at the Minister's press briefing in Accra on Thursday, May 12, 2022, Ken Ofori-Atta hinted at government's intention of ensuring that the Agyapa Royalties deal sees the light of day.
For him, the deal is a good one as it will help the country raise resources from the capital market and reduce its debt exposure.
“It is not about whether the monetisation of mineral royalties or listing of the company is bad or good, it is good because that is how you raise resources”, the Finance Minister explained.
His comments come after the Minerals Income Investment Fund was reported to have said that it is redesigning its strategy for listing the Agyapa Royalties on the London Stock Exchange and the Ghana Stock Exchange.
“If we have a problem with the process, let's articulate it, let's cure it, but let us not drop something that would be good for us and reduce our debt exposure. My mind is still there [on Agyapa]. I know the President has mentioned something about that,” the Minister added.
The Agyapa Royalty deal was proposed by the government last year to raise funds through mineral royalties for key infrastructure projects, but could not be passed after stakeholders rejected the deal.
The deal became a subject of hot debate after the opposition National Democratic Congress and some stakeholders kicked against it.
The woes of the deal were subsequently compounded by a 64-paged corruption risk analysis report released by the then Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu.
The government subsequently suspended the deal.