The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has given another indication that if elected president of Ghana he will not respect the Agyapa mineral royalties agreement.
He is therefore urging the government to desist from signing that deal.
Addressing the chiefs and people of Kaleo as part of his tour of the Upper West Region, Mahama said the attempt by the government spokespersons to justify the Agyapa deal in the name of the 2011 proposed Ghana Gold Company is both inaccurate and disingenuous.
He said the proposed company was 100 percent owned by the government and people of Ghana, and it had no secret beneficial owners.
Former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute Gabby Asare Otcthere-Darko had disclosed that nine years ago, the Mills-Mahama administration sought to introduce a deal in the form of the current Agyapa Royalties agreement to monetize Ghana’s gold royalties.
He said that unlike the current agreement, which went to Parliament for deliberations, the NDC one did not have a parliamentary support and also shrouded in secrecy.
He, therefore, wondered why despite the Akufo-Addo government being transparent on the deal and taking it to Parliament will receive flak from critics who believe the agreement was shrouded in secrecy.
Gabby in a tweet said: “9yrs ago, one Government sought to set up a similar vehicle to monetize our gold royalties without even an Act of Parliament. Today, a Government does it with an Act of Parliament and it is accused of being opaque! MoF then set up the Ghana Gold Company Ltd.”
But Mr Mahama pointed out that the Agyapa deal is shrouded in secrecy, its beneficial owners are unknown, seeks to “monetize Ghana’s gold royalties for the next 15 years and even in perpetuity without the consent of the people of Ghana”.
He added “civil society and right thinking Ghanaians have all expressed misgivings about this Agyapa deal”.
He said the government should back down from signing that deal because “we will do everything legitimately in our power to oppose the agreement and make sure it doesn’t happen”.
Mr Mahama said a small group of people cannot arrogate to themselves the right to monetize the country’s gold royalties without building consensus with the chiefs and people, adding the Agyapa agreement does not serve Ghana’s national interest.