We won’t tolerate revised Agyapa deal – Jinapor warns Ofori-Atta

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Sat, 14 May 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ofori-Atta hints of a return of Agyapa deal

Some CSOs kick against reintroduction of Agyapa deal

Minority vow to resist revised deal

Parliament's Ranking Member on Mines and Energy Committee, John Jinapor, has cautioned that the plan to reintroduce the Agyapa deal to Parliament will not be tolerated.

His comments come in the wake of pronouncements by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, that the deal will be resubmitted to Parliament.

But for the Yapei-Kusawgu Member of Parliament, government should protect rather than seek to collateralize Ghana's mineral resources.

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.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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