Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin has said the minority’s rejection of the controversial Agypapa Royalties deal is as a result of the pressure from National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters.
The NDC MPs have strongly indicated they would kick against the Agyapa deal if it is brought back to the House as announced by President Akufo-Addo.
At the conclusion of the debate on the President’s State of the Nation Address, Alexander Afeonyo-Markin who is also the Effutu MP said the NDC MPs must first of all honor the oath they took us, legislators, to protect the public purse and not disagree with government policies simply because their party and footsoldiers are against it.
“The president was bold in telling this house ‘Mr Speaker;let , me at this point assure the house that in the course of this session of a parliament government will come back to engage the house on the steps it intends to take on the future of the Agyapa transaction. I will plead with my colleagues to exercise patience for us to interrogate this what the government yet is to bring,” he said.
Member of Parliament for Sekondi Constituency Andrew Egyapa Mercer says he will offer a 2,000 percent support for the Agyapa Minerals Royalties Transaction when it comes up in Parliament again, all things being equal.
The deal, despite being approved by Parliament on Friday, August 14, 2020, had to be suspended as a result of an order from the President.
The order followed the controversy that was stirred by a corruption-risk assessment conducted by then Special Prosecutor, Martin Alamisi Amidu, in October, 2020.
The assessment called into question the processes leading to the approval and cited then Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta for doing bad job as regards due diligence on the deal.
It culminated in the resignation of Mr Amidu.
“The reaction I received for daring to produce the Agyapa Royalties Limited Transactions anti-corruption report convinces me beyond any reasonable doubt that I was not intended to exercise any independence as the Special Prosecutor in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and recovery of assets of corruption,” Ghana’s first Special Prosecutor wrote on Monday, November 16, 2020.
“My position as the Special Prosecutor has consequently become clearly untenable.”
On Monday, March 10, while delivering his first state-of-the-nation address in his second term, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo suggested that the controversial deal should be considered by the Eighth Parliament if it makes its way back.
“In the course of this session of Parliament, Government will come back to engage the House on the steps it intends to take on the future of the Agyapa transaction,” he hinted.
Speaking on The Key Points on TV3/3FM on Saturday, March 13, Mr Egyapa Mercer clarified that government never pulled the deal out of Parliament.
“Parliament approved the transaction and documentation. However, because of the post-approval brouhaha, His Excellency the President indicated that they should suspend the process so that we can have further engagement,” he noted.
He stressed, nonetheless, that the Minority Caucus, which walked out of the chamber during the approval session, had concerns with the deal because of its timing – near the 2020 elections – as they had approved the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, Act 978, way back in 2018.
He said the only genuine concern one may raise about the transaction is valuation.
“So, look, we can segregate the propaganda from the fact and I have said that a question that is raised that is legitimate relates to valuation.
“I will not debate anybody who says that we don’t have a problem with the transaction but are we getting good value for the Finance Ministry to now come and provide responses relative to the question of value?
“If that question is answered, I support the Agyapa transaction 2,000 per cent because it is good.”
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