Independent Presidential candidate Marricke Kofi Gane has described the Agyapa Royalties deal and rushed and cooked.
The aspirant says the deal lacks transparency.
“Although my initial hope, was that Government simply wanted to use investments to improve mileage of our royalty inflows, the rushed nature of the vehicle, lack of transparency, laxness of some of the clauses and bulldog approach towards those asking justified questions is making it all look too ‘COOKED’.”
Read his full opinion on the issue below:
AGYAPA VRS GYAE SAA
An awful lot has been said about the Jersey Incorporated Special Purpose Vehicle, Agyapa being set up to manage Royalties from mines in Ghana that will go into the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) and the agenda to list Agyapa on the London Stock exchange as part of the process.
I am all for ensuring that we gain more from minerals Income by investing them.a bit more aggressively, because it will help us start to build local patient capital – we allude to that in our Manifesto. In my view, if means taking the time to build a world class Investment company with a track record and a pipeline of world class personal/expertise akin to those now in play in China and Singapore.
However in the case of Agyapa and apart from the convoluted procedures and agreements surrounding it, it appears there are many fundamental questions that seem to come up and until these have been resolved, for me, the deal will need a lot more. I have 4 concerns I want to raise out of many.
Let us bear in mind throughout the debates on this subject that the mineral resources and the Royalties from the companies mining them ALL belong to THE GHANAIAN CITIZENS.
CONCERN #1 WHO ARE THEY?
My basic understanding of IPOs is that, for them to succeed, investors need to see some years of the business Operating healthily, an exceptional management team, a record of good governance and accounts based on IPO-accepted principles. The Agyapa vehicle has no such history but more importantly, apart from the name of the Senior Minister’s (Osafo Marfo) son that I have seen the Minister of Communications defend vigorously as the best Fund Manager – it is unclear who else make up the core Management team. Surely if the resources belong to Ghanaians, they also deserve to know who the Board and Operational Directors are for Agyapa – who are they?
- Govt has nothing to hide in Agyapa deal, it’s best for Ghanaians – Ofori-Atta
- I will abolish Agyapa agreement when I get in office – William Dowokpor
CONCERN #2: PUBLIC FINANCIAL MGT
One of the ways we have as a country ensured, that State Owned Companies or companies with significant public Assets put Ghanaian interests first,.is to ensure that they are subject to our Public Financial Management, laws. I have been made aware Agyapa will.not be subject to same..WHY? If Agyapa will be listed on the London Stock Exchange and abide by its regulations, WHY will it not abide by regulations of the people who own the underlying Assets that birthed it?
CONCERN #4 – CONTROL
IF what I am gathering is true – that “Agyapa retains the right to sell off 51% of its ordinary shareholding to investors” – then what are the implications of these? Does that mean at some point it is even remotely possible that an organisation that manages our sovereign assets (Royalties – current and future) could become controlled by a person or persons other than us and what implications does that have for future Royalties?
I raise this concern because of the track record of several Governments in the last 27+ years – we go to the international markets, grab money and……
IPO inflows to my basic knowledge are applied to capital payout of initial owners (and Ghana is not seeking to be bought out), working capital or debt servicing of the company putting forward the IPO. In the case of Agyapa, what will the IPO inflows be put forward to and in what proportions?
Although my initial hope, was that Government simply wanted to use investments to improve mileage of our royalty inflows, the rushed nature of the vehicle, lack of transparency, laxness of some of the clauses and bulldog approach towards those asking justified questions is making it all look too “COOKED”.
Why can’t we ever just do business clean enough not to attract doubts – is this even welcoming to potential investors?