Agyapa deal is a novelty – Ken Ofori-Atta

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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

… provides additional income at almost no cost

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said that the country has been transparent and forward-thinking in the setting up of the Agyapa Royalties deal which would be Africa’s first Gold Royalty Company which would ensure that the country does not only benefit from mining operation but also trading of recoverable reserves.

Speaking at a press conference to clarify some misconceptions around the deal, the Finance Minister, said the move fell directly into the vision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to add value to the nation’s mineral resources along the entire value chain.

“500 times more gold is traded every day than is mined. Much of this is happening in countries that have very little gold themselves. President Akufo-Addo himself is clear in his mind that to achieve a Ghana Beyond Aid, we must add considerable value to what we produce and trade.

We often fail to see this value because when assessing the effectiveness of our policies and legislation, we limit the extent of our expectation to our national borders. We take no interest in what happens to our resources when they leave our shores. Whether it be in how they are traded in foreign markets, how companies leverage them to create cheap financing or the different ways in which they are utilised to create profit.

The value chain includes the international stock market where coincidentally, eventually, all the foreign investors who are involved in the extractive industry in Ghana are also operating,” the minister said.

He added that: “In accessing the value we receive, we often focus on the matrix such as the percentage the government is taking and tax as the only means of access to the value that is obtained by the resource owner which is ourselves. This type of analysis ignores many of the different ways in which the company that extract the resource utilises their rights beyond and outside our borders as a means of creating value.

Specifically leveraging that value to those who do not want to invest directly into our country but do want access to resources and have access to capital that would help us to accelerate our development and diversify our economy.”

He further noted that: “If the foreign investor can use the recoverable reserves in our country he has in a concession granted by us to him to raise money which he can choose to spend here or other businesses he has elsewhere, why can’t we do the same to maximise the benefit we get and use an additional income to accelerate our development and by so doing n expand our economy.”

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on his part said that, despite critics speaking against the deal, it poses no huge financial debt on the country. He said there is nothing untoward about the Agyapa Minerals Royalties transaction. According to him, the deal raises no debt financing for Ghana and bears no loan interest expenses explaining that Ghana has a majority stake in future royalties.

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