Bright Simons Says Agyapa Deal Will Be A Conduit For Massive Corruption

Bright Simons Says Agyapa Deal Will Be A Conduit For Massive Corruption

  • Bright Simons, the vice president of IMANI-Africa, has thrown his support behind the NDC's bid to investigate the Agyapa deal
  • According to him, if the deal is allowed to proceed, it will be a conduit for massive corruption
  • But the NPP says the opposition is exploiting the confusion surrounding the deal to extract political gains

IMANI-Africa has backed the National Democratic Congress' (NDC) bid to investigate the contentious Agyapa deal.

Bright Simons, the vice president of IMANI-Africa, said should the deal be allowed to proceed it, will be a conduit for massive corruption.

Bright Simons says Agyapa Deal will be a conduit for massive corruption and has called for a probe
Collage of Bright Simons and gold bar. Sources: IMANI-Africa/Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile, he stated that the NDC’s resolution to probe the deal and hold accountable those involved is commendable.

He was referring to the NDC’s recent declaration that they will probe and punish those found culpable in the controversial Agyapa deal.

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The NDC’s Communication Director, Sammy Gyamfi, reiterated the party’s stance on the matter on Newsfile on Saturday, February 24, 2024.

“Our surest bet of getting genuine accountability is when we elect the nation builder John Dramani Mahama who has shown both in office and out of office that he has a clear will to investigate this matter and retrieve the funds for the state and punish the perpetrators,” he said.

Bright Simons, speaking on the danger of allowing the Agyapa deal to continue operating, stated that the arrangement could cost the country huge sums of money.

He said three times more than the already spent $12 million could potentially be sunk into getting the Agyapa deal operational again.

The $12 million had been spent on the issuance of the initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange as a result of the procurement of services from international consultancy services, companies and financial institutions, according to the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Income Investment Fund, Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng.

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Bright Simons believes should the process go any further, the payment of underwriters and investment bankers to finalise the deal could balloon the cost.

"Agyapa could be a conduit for massive corruption from the way it has been signed,” he argued.

However. the ruling New Patriotic Party has been defending the Agyapa arrangement.

Speaking on behalf of the government, the Director of Communications for the New Patriotic Party, Richard Ahiagbah, believes the deal is in the best interest of the country.

According to him, most critics do not understand the deal and are exploiting the general confusion about it to extract political value from it.

"This whole Agyapa thing is a complex, abstract concept to try to create value for this country so not a lot of people understand this,” he said.

The Agyapa deal

The Agyapa deal, as proposed in August 2020, is the government’s strategy to finance critical infrastructure projects.

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The proposal revealed the government's intention to sell most of the nation's future gold royalties from mining leases to an offshore tax-haven-based company, Agyapa Royalties Ltd.

Under the deal, the government would sell almost half of the shares of this company through a public offering and keep a 51% stake.

This faced serious backlash from civil society organisations, which stated that the deal was opaque and did not guarantee value for money.

They have also raised issues about how low Ghana's gold reserves have been valued.

An opinion written by the then-Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo in August 2020 described the deal as "unconscionable."

She stated that there are several illegalities about the deal that make it unacceptable.

Following another report from the then-Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, who pointed out possible incidences of rigging and corruption, including opening doors for illicit financial flows and money laundering in the deal, President Akufo-Addo instructed authorities to review the transaction documents and return the proposal to Parliament for approval.

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John Mahama wants Agyapa deal to be revoked

Meanwhile, reported that NDC flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, called for the deal to be revoked.

According to him, the deal, if allowed to process through, will mortgage the future of the country and Ghana's youth to fund President Akufo-Addo's present-day desires.


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