Former Finance Minister under the Mahama administration Seth Tekper has kicked against the Agyapa Minerals Royalties deal.
He said the deal sends a very bad signal to investors, especially foreign ones.
Speaking on the Super Morning Show, he explained that for a country like Ghana who is under a money laundering watch it is very risky to engage in shady tax agreements.
"First of all, you are under a money laundering watch which may be the result of using investors [both local and foreign] as conduits for shady tax transactions and investments and this is likely to accentuate why [the country] is under a money laundering watch," he said.
The Agyapa Royalties deal
Parliament August 14, 2020, approved the controversial Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement with the government of Ghana despite a walkout by the Minority.
Two years ago, the house passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018 which establishes the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies, and receive royalties on behalf of government.
The fund is supposed to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country.
The law allows the fund to establish Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to use for the appropriate investments. Last month, government introduced an amendment to the act to ensure that the SPVs have unfettered independence.
However, a lot of concerns have been raised about the deal by many including the Minority in Parliament who have questioned the credibility of the agreement. They have also called for a withdrawal of the deal.
Also, 15 Civil Society Organisations on Tuesday held a press conference to kick against the deal.
At the conference, the CSOs made an emphatic demand for a suspension of the deal until all documents relating to the beneficial owners of the deal are disclosed.
Adding to the voices against the deal, Mr. Tekper said the deal is likely to send investor away.
Meanwhile government insists there is nothing untoward towards the deal.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said the deal raises no debt financing for the country and bears no loan interest expenses adding that Ghana retains a majority stake in future royalties.