The former President, John Dramani Mahama reinstated that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) remain opposed to the minerals royalties deal commonly known as the ‘Agyapa deal’.
According to Mr. Mahama, the NDC will affirm its position of seeking clarity on the rife in the investment community and intends to use the Heritage Fund as collateral to raise a US$2 billion loan from a consortium of banks.
In a Facebook post, he wrote; “We remain opposed to the Agyapa deal. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) will oppose it [Agyapa deal] vigorously”
“As I emphasized in my presentation last week on Ghana at a Crossroad, Government must clarify reports which are rife in the investment community that it intends to use the Heritage Fund as collateral to raise a US$2 billion loan from a consortium of banks,” Mahama reiterated a point he raised at his recent lecture dubbed: “Ghana at a crossroads.”
“We wish to serve notice that if this turns out to be true, we in the NDC will oppose it vigorously in the same way that we oppose the Agyapa deal,” the former president said.
He thus vowed that the NDC cannot “support the collateralisation of every single source of future revenue just to finance today’s consumption.”
However, the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Thursday, May 12, 2022, at a press briefing noted that he still wants to pursue the Agyapa Royalties deal since he believes it is best for the country.
“My firm philosophical belief is that the capital markets are meant for something that will lead us to equity resources and we are not leveraging on it. Therefore, it is not the question of whether monetization of mineral royalties or listing of the company is bad or good”
“It is good because that is how you raise the resources. The question is the process of doing that. If you have a problem with the process just articulate it, let’s cure it but let us not drop something that will be good for us that will reduce our debt exposure”
“So those are two very different questions. How best to do it as opposed to, don’t do it. My mind is still there, I know the president has mentioned something about that going through the AG, Parliament to do that [Agyapa deal]” he said.
Explaining that “It is not something that is an asset to the country that one needs to drop, you need to examine all your equity and debt positions and the best choice for the country.
“We will never have done Free SHS if we listened to other people that is 400,000 lives that have a chance to do something. We would have stopped short at E-Levy because of the noise, suddenly we have a tax handle that will be phenomenally important for the country. so we need to look at that.”