The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, says the Agyapa Royalties deal is transparent and not shrouded in any form of secrecy but a new avenue for creating value for the country’s mineral resources.
At a press briefing in Accra yesterday, Mr Ofori-Atta indicated that there was broad consultation with various stakeholders from the outset of the development of the deal in 2018.
“The Agyapa transaction is not a mystery. The transaction has been transparent; it’s gone to Parliament on many levels, it’s gone to cabinet on many levels, and there is truly nothing to hide except creating something new,” he stated.
“We have to maximise value by income that is due the Republic from the mineral wealth that we have and for the benefit of our citizens, and that is the prime objective of the MIIF (Mineral Income Investment Fund),” he stressed.
According to the Finance Minister, the company, which is wholly-owned by the government of Ghana, would, by the end of the year, following its listing, become the first African gold royalty company to be on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The Deputy Minister for Finance, Charles Adu Boahen, said the MIIF, which was set up by an Act of Parliament in 2018, would “provide transparency and high international standards of corporate governance.”
He noted that the amount of funds government wanted to raise could not be realised only on the Ghanaian stock market, hence the decision to list on the LSE.
Mr Boahen underscored the fact that the Agyapa deal was necessary, as it would provide an innovative approach towards the mobilisation of non-debt capital for the country and hold all government shareholding in the mining sector and receive all royalties thereof.
He mentioned that the objective of the deal “is to create and launch Africa’s first gold royalty company and showcase Ghana as the premier destination for gold assets and resource mining, whilst raising non-debt funding for capital investment.”
That, he noted, would attract investment into the mining sector, increase exploration activity, and provide equity financing to owners of mining concessions.
In addition, Mr Boahen said, the Agyapa deal would create jobs, enhance rural development and generate taxes for the country.
According to him, 75.6 per cent of proceeds that would flow from 12 gold mines into the royalty portfolio would be transferred to Agyapa, while 20 per cent would go into the Minerals Development Fund.
Mr Boahen said out of the remaining amount, 2.4 per cent would be paid to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) as a revenue management fee, while the remaining two per cent would be used by the MIIF to pay salaries, and other operating expenses.
More so, funds from the transaction would be used in four key development areas, namely education, health, housing and infrastructure.
Mr Boahen explained that there would be an upgrade of secondary, technical and tertiary institutions in the mining areas with proceeds from the transaction, as well as the building of health facilities across mining areas.
Part of the Agyapa proceeds would also serve as seed capital for housing projects at affordable prices for people in the mining areas, and support the drive to plug existing infrastructure gaps across the country.
BY FRANCIS NTOW