ASEPA reveals real facts behind controversial Agyapa Royalties deal

The flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, has questioned the basis for the agreement between the government and a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) company, Agyapa Royalties Limited.

He said despite the Minority’s objection to it, the Majority in Parliament went ahead to sanction the agreement, which he described as a deal shrouded in secrecy.

The latest group to raise concerns over the 'stinking' Agyapa Royalties deal is governance think-tank, Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA).

In a statement issued, the Executive Director, ASEPA, Mensah Thompson said the Agyapa deal is fraudlent and will not be of benefit to Ghana, rather to a few individuals in the Nrew Patriotic Party (NPP).

Another person who has criticised the Agyapa Royalties deal is law professor, Stephen Asare.

Prof. Asare in an opinion peace said the deal " is just a gimmick to park debts off the country’s balance sheet".

Below is the full statement issued by ASEPA outlining the 'real' details of the Agyapa Royalties deal;

1. Government passed the Mineral Royalties Investment Act last year which created a Mineral Royalties Investment Fund.

2. Mineral Royalties are Shore Assets, this means 5% of the Annual Revenues of the mining companies goes to Government as Royalties, mind you it’s 5% of Revenue NOT profit.

So whether you make profit or not, all the revenue you get from the minerals every year, 5% of it belongs to the people of Ghana and it goes straight to GRA.

3.GRA will then pay the money into an account in Bank of Ghana, now bank of Ghana would then pay this money into the Mineral Royalties Investment Fund.

4.It is these Royalties accrued to the Mineral Royalties Investment Fund, that Government has created another Company called Asaase or Agyapa how ever you wona call it to trade the Royalties on our behalf.

5.Now the Comapny is registered in a tax-haven island in the UK called Jersey and the Company would be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

6.Now this Asaase/Agyapa is wholly Government owned, but just like PDS they are going to offload 49% shares of this Company to raise Equity of about $750Million which they say would be used for infrastructural projects in Ghana( as if we believe them)

7. So the confusion is that people think that the Asaase/Agyapa thing is a private Company, No!

The Company is created by the Mineral Royalties Investment Fund and wholly Government owned.

However they are selling 49%shares to private individuals, so it will be 51% Government, 49%Private owned.

7. If the 49% is private owned, then who are the people going to own the 49%?

Are they Ghanaians or foreigners?

Because the Comapany would be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

This why they have told you that they would list it on the Ghana Stock Exchange as well.(as to whether we still have a stock market in Ghana, that is for Ken Ofori-Atta to answer)

But the fact is that the listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange is a scam!

The listing would be done, the same day and time it would be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

8. Because you cannot sit here and trade stocks on the LSE, it is expected that some international financial agencies would buy some shares on our behalf on the LSE and later offload those shares on the GSE for interested Ghanaians to buy.

8. Now the question we have been asking is, If Asaase/Agyapa is a Government entity, why would Government create an entity to invest our gold royalties but decided to register it in far away Jersey, a tax haven in the UK?

10. Someone would say may be its a tax haven so the taxes are less, but hey, Parliament as part of the agreement has approved a tax waiver for this Asaase/Agyapa Company.

Yes they are going to enjoy a free tax regime in Ghana and so the issues of taxes does not arise at all?

11. Then after registering the Company in a tax haven, they create a local subsidiary called ARG, now all the ARG would do is to sit here in Ghana, do NO work, at the end of the year, they collect all the money accrued to the MRIF, and send it to the Parent Comapany Registered in Jersey to be traded on the London Stock Exchange but we all know where the money is going.

12. People have been asking who are the people behind this Company?

Apart from Ken Ofori-Atta’s data bank being the transaction advisors and Ace -ANKOMAH’s law firm being the legal advisors and the fact that we can trace the Asaase name to the same people behind Asaase Radio, we cannot readily tell until the Company is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Then can we find out who Government is giving 49% of our minerals royalties to per annum for 15years.

13. But giving the people behind this deal, any name that comes up will be fronting for the real owners.

The whole deal is so that some people can stay in opposition and still be in charge of our mineral royalties and be living fat on our sweat and to hide their theft, they decided to register the Company in a tax haven where it’s difficult to access any information on the transaction if not impossible!

And hey, for the CSOs and the Media who are quiet in all this thievery, good luck getting information on this Asaase/Agyapa deal from a tax-haven Jersey when you finally decide to wake up.

If this is not a mega create,loot and share then I don’t know what else is!!!

Mensah Thompson

Executive Director, ASEPA

0542120628

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