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Extractive sector policy researcher and analyst, Dr. Steve Manteaw, has blamed the failure of the Agyapa Gold Royalties deal on the public’s belief within the notion that they were misled by the govt .
Speaking at a forum on the theme “Extractive Sector Governance: Examining economics factors for promoting transparency, participation and accountability” organized by the Star Ghana Foundation, Dr Manteaw, said “Ghanaians bought into the promise of a comprehensive mineral revenue management law” as promised within the NPP’s 2016 election campaign “only to be presented with a Mineral Income Investment Fund Act, without reference to the social contract”.
The government of Ghana had proposed to sell about 76% of the country’s prospective gold receipts to a special corporate vehicle within the British territory of Jersey known to be a country .
The deal would have seen Ghana own 51% of the Jersey-based company with the remaining 49% listed on the London stock market reciprocally for US$500 million.
The cash, consistent with the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, would are invested in “infrastructure, health and education”.
But the one-time member of the planet Bank Extractive Industries Advisory Group, Dr. Steve Manteaw insists the deal exposed an effort by “power brokers and interest holders (in Government) to get private benefits from the transaction”.
Dr. Manteaw’s concern was first acknowledged by the then Special Prosecutor. Martin Amidu in his Corruption risk and Anti-Corruption assessment of the Agyapa Gold Royalties deal.
Owing to the very fact that the deal, despite the questions raised mainly by the opposition National Democratic Congress and a number of other CSOs, was gone by Parliament, Dr. Manteaw noted that “the Agyapa transaction raised critical questions on the effectiveness of the checks and balances built into Ghana’s governance architecture”.
Again Dr. Manteaw said the Agyapa deal “revealed the weak control mechanisms within the public financial management system in Ghana and therefore the near helplessness of Parliament within the exercise of its oversight mandate”.
Dr. Manteaw was addressing a session to analyse the economics factors that derailed attempts to innovate the management of mineral royalties in Ghana.
The analysis concluded that a Collaboration between local CSOs and their international partners, and a continuing mention in both local and international media helped to “bring international public opinion” in touch on the alleged improprieties within the deal leading to its botching.