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Government opens up to consult CSOs

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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Government shows up to have actually softened its position on the controversial Agyapa Royalties agreement.

This is the outcome of a meeting between the Finance Ministry and some Civil Society organisations in the country where the government is said to have expressed its willingness to engage stakeholders to educate its decision relating to the deal.

This comes on the rear of agitations by the Minority in Parliament who have required the withdrawal of the contract with Agyapa Mineral Royalties Limited over what it thinks is a nontransparent effort by the NPP-led administration to syphon public funds for their parochial interest.

The new arrangement is expected to make it possible for the nation to use an Unique Objective Car (SPV), Agyapa Royalties Limited, to safeguard concerning $1 billion to finance infrastructural projects.

The NDC has among other issues preserved that the mineral aristocracies have been undervalued in the agreement and called for an independent probe.

Some 15 CSOs at a press conference on August 25 expressed concerned about what they call an absence of openness as well as transparency that has characterised the deal a setting which the government has vehemently justified over the past couple of weeks.

But in an interview with JoyNews after the conference on September 2, energy expert Samuel Bekoe claimed the Financing Minister made it clear some of the technicalities surrounding the deal which has to be researched to notify the CSOs next directive.

“He said the initial valuation was as a requirement of company registration which auditors would require from you. So it won’t be an independent tender that when you are registering a company you can put any figure there.

“So it was a matter of international standards that they had followed. They were hoping that when gold prices continued to remain the same and they go to the market, there will be some roadshows where they will hear more about the willingness of buyers to be able to know what the company is actually worth,” the energy said.

He nonetheless revealed that the Finance Minister is ready to consult larger stakeholders to get to a final thought that may be in the passion of all Ghanaians.

“The Minister had also indicated that this he believes that is the best window due to the gold prices and therefore he is now torn between further consultations and that opportunity that it had been presented by the gold prices,” Mr Bekoe said.

He added that they are open to assisting government if demand be.

The funds from the deal, which are anticipated to be increased from the Ghana Stock Market (GSE) as well as the London Stock Market (LSE), will be a long-lasting funding, without an equivalent increase in Ghana’s overall financial debt stock.

Source: Ghana Waves

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