Agyapa deal should be considered dead on arrival in Parliament – John Jinapor

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The Yapei-Kusawgu MP, John Abdulai Jinapor has reiterated that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs will resist any attempt to reintroduce the controversial Agyapa Minerals Royalties deal in Parliament.

Although the deal has now been suspended, President Akufo-Addo while delivering his State of the Nation (SONA) Tuesday, hinted that the deal that failed to see the light of day in the 7th Parliament will be resurrected in the 8th Parliament.

He explained that government will come back to engage Parliament on the steps it intends to take on the future of the Agyapa transaction.

However, speaking on Joy FM Wednesday, Mr Jinapor said government should consider the deal dead on arrival if critical modification has not been made to the transaction.

Describing the initial deal as opaque and questionable, the former Deputy Energy Minister said it needs to be shelved.

“The level of opacity with that agreement and the attempt to rush it through within 24 hours, despite all the issues we [NDC] have raised, gives cause for concern.

“[That is why] it should be considered dead on arrival from our side. We don’t have to go through the whole process again. This whole Agyapa thing should be shelved,” he told Joy FM’s host Winston Amoah.

Mr Jinapor, however, suggested that all relevant stakeholders must be involved in restructuring the transaction for the nation and its citizens to enjoy its full benefits.

“If we want to deal with our Mineral Royalties and income, we can have a bipartisan discussion and come to a conclusion,” he said.

Speaking on the same issue, the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin accused the NDC MPs of politicizing the deal.

In his view, the transaction would have benefited the country immensely if the Minority in Parliament had not politicked it.

Background

On August 14, 2020, Parliament approved the Agyapa Minerals Royalties Investment Agreement and four related documents to allow for the monetisation of Ghana’s future gold royalties.

Under the agreement, Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited has been incorporated in Jersey near UK to receive and manage royalties from 16 gold mining leases over the next 15 years or so.

In exchange, the firm will list on the London and Ghana Stock Exchanges later this year and raise at least $500 million for government to invest in infrastructure, health and education.

The listing will allow private people to buy a 49 per cent stake in the firm.

However, some 22 civil society organisations called for a suspension of the deal, insisting it was not in the interest of Ghana.

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