Presidential candidate for the Coalition of Independent Presidential Aspirants Kofi Koranteng has described the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal as criminal.
According to the International Investment Banker, the justifications given by the finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta and other government appointees for the deal which will see the country sell 49% of its GOLD royalties for $1 billion dollars lacks economic sense.
Some CSOs and the opposition NDC have kicked against the deal arguing it’s shrouded in secrecy. They cite incorporation of the company in a tax haven Jersey among others to ground their arguments. Government has however explained the decision to incorporate the company in Jersey is to avoid paying taxes on the country’s gold royalties which are products of taxation.
In an interview with Starr News after a courtesy call on the National Chief Imam, Mr. Koranteng argued the government justification is untenable
“Let me tell you what’s funny. We’re not even going to delve into the numbers and why this is a ridiculously crappy deal. Why do you set up an organization in a tax haven in Jersey? You do it not to pay taxes. Who should own the agency that oversees our mineral royalties? Shouldn’t it be an agency under government? Now if you’re an agency under government why will you want to avoid paying taxes to the government? There is something wrong……That’s not how it’s done. That is so flawed. You cannot tell that to a blind, dumb person to believe. Because it just doesn’t make sense. If an institution in government doesn’t work, you make it work”.
Kofi Koranteng rather wants government to better equip the minerals commission to maximize the country’s mineral resources instead of creating a special purposed vehicle.
“If you have an agency that doesn’t work under government, we have a minerals commission right? So you would have thought they will restructure the minerals commission for it to work and then whatever benefit that they are hoping to derive from this Agyapa deal they make it work and they bring it to the minerals commission to make it work like that right? Why do the same people who are responsible for creating an environment that works for the Ghanaian agencies they go out of the Ghanaian agency’s scope and set up a company to give a service to Ghana and charge us? Does that make sense to you? That’s illegal my brother. You are with me? And that’s a major conflict of interest also because the person who works for government should work for government. You don’t go and set up a company outside the government and say now you going to give service to government agency and charge government through the Ghanaian taxes. That’s not how it is done. Ghana what’s wrong with us? The NDC and the NPP are criminal organizations. This is criminal” He fumed.
He rallied Ghanaians to vote out the New Patriotic Party in order to stop the Agyapa deal from going through. Mr. Koranteng likened the deal to the botched PDS concession arrangement where government pushed through in spite of opposition from a section of the public
“PDS came where PDS? They come we talk, we all emotional and it goes away enough of that and that’s why I’m being harsh if you think I’m being harsh so that we cannot allow for Agyapa to go away. You know what they think? All the levels of the processes that this (Agyapa) has to go through are owned by the same people. They control everything so the only thing you and I can do is to vote them out. You don’t vote them out they are going to be here four years again and all of a sudden Agyapa is going to be legal all of a sudden everything else is going to be legal and you and I are going to bear the brunt for that uselessness”.
The Independent Candidate later visited Akropong to pay homage to traditional leaders there and inform them about his campaign and quest to lead the nation.