Agyapa is 100% govt owned- Finance Ministry

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The Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited is 100-percent entity owned by Ghana government, the Finance Ministry has said

Deputy Minister of Finance, Charles Adu Boahen, making a presentation to the media in Accra last Thursday said contrary to views held that some unseen hands owned  Agyapa, “it is 100% owned by government of Ghana.”

According to him, “the company (Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited) is to be listed on the London and Ghana Stock Exchanges after the approval by appropriate regulatory authorities in Ghana and London.

“Once listed Government of Ghana through MIIF will be the majority shareholder with at least 51% of the shares,” he noted.

According to him, listing will provide transparency and high international standards of good corporate governance.

 “London is one of the major stock markets for listing mining companies. In order to realise maximum value for the shares that are being sold, London, is the ideal way to ensure this, he said

“Given the amount of funds, the government needs, that amount cannot be raised only on the Ghanaian stock market.”

He said Parliament had approved the investment agreement, saying “it ties the royalty flows to the life of the underlying mining leases for the specific gold mines,” explaining that only 16 gold mines in which government receives annual royalties will be affected.

Agyapa Royalties is a gold royalty company which will offer financing to gold mining companies that want to develop their mines in exchange for royalty or revenue related stream.

He said Agyapa Royalties will focus its activities in Ghana and Africa and in the gold mining sector only.

 “It will be the first African focused minerals royalty company, and also the first  to be listed by an African Government.”

He indicated that there were several other listed royalty companies on various stock exchanges in the world, citing Franco Nevada, Royal Gold, Wheaten Precious, Sandstorm and Osisko as examples.

According to him, royalties will flow from the specified gold mining assets to Bank of Ghana and be split.

He said only 75.6 percent of the royalties will go to the Minerals Income and Investment Fund, with other statutory bodies getting their shares. 

“The statement that all the traditional authorities lose right to royalties is untrue,” he said, adding that the 20 percent share of Minerals Development Fund is still intact.

According to him, 75.6 percent of the royalties will flow to Agyapa Royalties from 16 gold assets with four under development.

He stated that 2.4 percent will go to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) as a revenue management fee, and 2 percent to the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) to cover costs of running the fund.

Benefits

“This means GoG (Government of Ghana) will get the following benefits: benefit from investment of the significant amount of funds received from issuing shares in the company; will receive dividends from the company based on the royalty flows; as the majority shareholders, they will also benefit from the potential capital gains in the shares into perpetuity.”

He assured that “Agyapa has the ability to facilitate the development of mines in Ghana and Africa and hence develop the sector and economy as a whole.”

“This will, all other things being equal also benefit shareholders, including the majority shareholder, Government,” he added.

He said the listing on the stock market will ensure high level of transparency and good corporate governance as every investor including critics of the deal is welcomed to buy shares.

Criticisms

There have been criticisms from a section of Ghanaians including civil society organizations and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) about the ownership and transparency of the Agyapa deal.

He stated that the deal will ensure that government can raise capital for development in affordable housing, education, road among other capital projects without adding to the debt stock.

But also speaking to the media on Thursday, August 27, 2020, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Attta, says it was sad that since Independence from colonial rule, Ghana had not been able to have a listed company on the international stock exchange for its mineral resources.

He said the country has to maximize the value of income that it is due.

According to him, it is for that reason that Minerals Income Investment Fund was brought into being to ensure Ghana derive the best from its mineral resources.

He stated that gold companies, oil companies that are in most cases ready to pay premium for Ghana’s resources exist beyond Ghana.

He called for Ghanaians to be creative to expand the country’s sources for income generation, if they want to expand their share of the international pie.

For centuries, Africans have been getting far less than they deserve for their mineral resources, he said.

This is due to the fact that the resources leave the shores of Africa without value addition.

President Nana Akufo-Addo is clear in his mind that to move Ghana Beyond Aid we must add value to our resources, he said.

Key Areas

Mr. Adu Boahen says the four key areas for the Agyapa Mineral Royalty are: education, health, infrastructure, and housing.

Background

Parliament on August 14th approved the Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited agreement with the government of Ghana despite a walkout by the Minority.

About two years ago, Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018 which establishes the Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies, and receive royalties on behalf of government.

The fund is supposed to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country.

The law allows the fund to establish Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to use for the appropriate investments. Last month, government introduced an amendment to the act to ensure that the SPVs have unfettered independence.

However, there have been concerns about the deal by many including the Minority in Parliament who have questioned the credibility of the agreement.

They have also called for a withdrawal of the deal.

Also, 15 Civil Society Organisations on Tuesday held a press conference to kick against the deal.

At the conference, the CSOs made an emphatic demand for a suspension of the deal until all documents relating to the beneficial owners of the deal are disclosed.

But Mr. Adu Boahen stated that the confusion over Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited is because it is quite novel in this part of the world.

He said it was unfortunate that the MIIF is something that “we hastily put together.”

He said the Ministry of Finance worked with five institutions including Ghana Revenue Authority, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Justice, etc.

He said there were engagements with mining companies.

No Hidden Beneficiaries

Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, says suggestions that the Agyapa Mineral Royalty Limited deal was opaque are “thrash.”

He said “there has been full transparency.”

Mr Ofori-Atta said there were “no hidden beneficiaries” to the Agyapa deal.

He said Agyapa is going to be the biggest company in Africa in the mineral space if it is well managed.

The MIIF, he said, is not hasty, it’s not new, saying people may be politicizing it because of elections.

Source: ghanaiantimes