The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it will disregard the Agyapa Royalties deal in its next administration.
The major opposition party insists it was secretive, lacked diligence, transparency, a breach of constitutional provisions and unfavorable to the country’s development.
According to the party, the agreement which would see the country mortgage its gold royalties was rushed through parliament for approval, thereby, not meeting major legal and constitutional requirements before approval.
The Minority Leader, and Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, reaffirmed the position of the NDC on the deal at a press conference in Accra yesterday.
“The Minority in parliament would like to state unequivocally that a future NDC government will not honour the terms of this unconscionable agreement as described by the current Attorney-General,” he stated.
According to Mr Iddrisu, mortgaging the country’s mineral royalties, particularly, gold would not enhance the welfare of Ghanaians, adding that the decision of government to incorporate Agyapa in a tax haven would increase Ghana’s risk of being listed as money a laundering country.
“The NDC is of the strong view that the decision to mortgage Ghana’s future mineral royalties in perpetuity is grossly inimical to the interest of the people of Ghana and runs contrary to the constitutional imperative that governmental power be exercised for the welfare of the people of Ghana,” Mr Iddrisu stated.
“The incorporation of Agyapa as an offshore company in Jersey in the Channel Islands, a known tax haven is worrying. Tax havens are susceptible to money-laundering and thus elevate the risk of Ghana being listed as a money laundering jurisdiction by international bodies such as the European Union and the United Nations,” he further stated.
In addition, the NDC said, the Agyapa deal would lead to the country mortgaging its Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) receivables, energy sector levies, road fund and bauxite with Synohydro, indicating that, it would have “serious fiscal implications” for the country.
Also, contrary to information that the party was involved in the processes for the transaction since 2018, the NDC said, it was only given four hours to have a say on the deal.
“Let me state emphatically that Members of Parliament had less than four hours to scrutinise these agreements, and ascertain the extent to which they would enhance the welfare of the people of Ghana and in particular its ramifications on national revenue into the future,” he said.
“Paradoxically, the Akufo-Addo government claims to have used two years to prepare these agreements, yet, the people’s representatives in parliament were required to peruse and approve same in less than four hours,” he added.
Meanwhile, the NDC has hinted that it would soon notify the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Financial Conduct Authority that the Agyapa deal does not meet the required due diligence and transparency, as there is substantial conflict of interest in the structuring of agreement.
BY FRANCIS NTOW