The National House of Chiefs has rebuked individuals trying to draw its President, Togbe Afede XIV into the controversial Agyapa Royalties Agreement debate.
The National House of Chiefs gave the warning following the circulation of a statement purported to have been issued by Togbe Afede to condemn some alleged ethnocentric comments made by flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama on the agreement. In a release, the Agbogbomefia of Asogli State advised Ghanaians and the media to disregard such publications by “people obviously searching for ways to legitimize wrongdoing.”
“The House wants to state without equivocation that neither the President nor the leadership of the House has issued such a statement or press release. It is therefore preposterous for any person or group of persons to attempt to draw the President and the National House of Chiefs into the controversial Agyapa/Asaase royalties transaction,” the statement signed by Stephen Owusu, Public Relations Officer of the National House of Chiefs said.
The National House of Chiefs has further urged the Inspector General of Police and the Director-General of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service to institute a thorough investigation into the false publication. The Agyapa Royalties deal has become a topical issue following concerns from members of the opposition.
Civil Society groups in Mines and Energy have raised concerns over the deal, describing the Agyapa Royalties agreement as one which is not transparent. This was after officials of the Minerals Investment Fund (MIIF) explained that Agyapa Royalties Limited will be listed on both the Ghana and London Stock Exchanges.
The CSOs have also raised questions as to why the company was established in a known tax haven. Despite these concerns, the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said the agreement is wholly in the best interest of the country. The Minister said, there was a need for government to create value for the country’s mineral resources, especially by leveraging that value to investors.
The government through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) set up Agyapa Royalties Limited to monetise Ghana’s gold royalties. In exchange, the company plans to raise between $500 million and $750 million for the Government on the Ghana and London Stock exchanges to invest in developmental projects.