The Deputy Minister of Finance John Kumah has said the reintroduction of the controversial Agyapa royalties deal was to make money out of the country’s minerals wealth.
According to him, the Agyapa deal must be taken through the appropriate process to make it work because it could reduce the country’s debt exposure.
In an interview on Accra-based Okay FM, he stated that people have exported gold from Ghana without following the laid down rules for exporting gold from the country.
“We have mined gold and other minerals for years and it has not made any impact on the country’s economy,” he said, adding that the introduction of the E-levy will help revenue generation in the country.
The Agyapa deal has received public condemnation and was suspended but the government said a publication claiming the suspension of the transaction is untrue.
The Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta said the Agyapa Royalties deal has not been abandoned.
He stated that he still has in his mind the agreement because he believes it is best for the country.
Addressing the press in Accra on Thursday, May 12, 2022, he said “My firm philosophical belief really 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, and Parliament to do that.”
“But 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 pheromonally important for the country. so we need to look at that,” he noted.