General News Sun, 15 May 2022

Agyapa deal: Forget Supreme Court, fight it in parliament - Barker-Vormawor to Minority

Ofori-Atta hints of a return of Agyapa deal

Some CSOs kick against reintroduction of Agyapa deal

Minority vow to resist revised deal

Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor, a lead convener with the #FixTheCountry has tasked the Minority National Democratic Congress, NDC, to fight the new Agyapa Deal, that government is planning to retable, in Parliament.

Barker-Vormawor, a lawyer by training said the best place to fight the controversial deal was in the legislature and that MPs should not bother to approach the Supreme Court with the view to stopping the deal as they have attempted with the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).

The activist was speaking on Abranaaso on TV XYZ on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

According to him, the Minority had the numbers to resist the deal and so they should not think of heading to Supreme Court over the matter but rather to resist it in the House and mobilize people to hit the streets in protest of the deal if need be.

“…If the country is for us, then we need to rise up to stop the Agyapa deal,” Barker-Vormawor stated.

“It isn’t about the Supreme Court. How many judges do you know? Everyday you send your matters there and they defraud you; lawyers take your monies and you keep going there,” he said in Akan.

Barker-Vormawor, who is currently facing treason felony charges over a coup threat made via social media whiles he was out of the country, has repeatedly called out the government for mismanaging affairs of the country.

He is among the front liners calling for a review of the 1992 Constitution, a call that has divided public opinion in recent times.

Minority vow to resist new Agyapa deal

John Jinapor, Ranking Member on Parliament's Mines and Energy Committee and Yapei-Kusawgu Member of Parliament, has cautioned government against reintroducting the Agyapa deal.

Speaking in an interview with Accra-based Citi News, John Jinapor said: “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.”

Ofori-Atta at a press briefing on Thursday, May 12, 2022, defended the controversial deal that was suspended in the first term of the Akufo-Addo government after the Minority put up stiff resistance to it.

The Minister described the deal as a good one that will help Ghana raise needed resources from the capital markets.

“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 were preceded by that of the head of the Minerals Income Investment Fund, MIIF, who disclosed earlier this week that the redesigned Agyapa deal was going to allow for the listing of Agyapa Royalties on the London and the Ghana Stock Exchanges.

“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.

Ofori-Atta first hinted of the return of Agyapa in the 2022 budget read in November 2021.

It was one of five areas that he wrote to the Speaker that government was interested in making amendments to by way of seeking concessions from the Minority over the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).

“With regards to Agyapa Royalties Ltd, we shall amend paragraphs 442 and 443 to take out references to mineral royalties collateralisation. It is important to note that, any reference to Agyapa was for informational purposes, and as such was not reflected in the fiscal framework,” his letter to the Speaker read.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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