Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has insisted the controversial Agyapa Royalties deal is the best thing for Ghana’s mineral resources.
According to him, it’s about time government became creative on how to raise revenue to develop the country and that is exactly what the deal seeks to do.
Addressing the press on Thursday evening he said, “there are those who say we should be careful not to mortgage ourselves today, the gold for our future generations. This is not the case. But I have a few questions for people who have those concerns. If it is okay for foreign investors to hold concessions [and] sell what is on the ground up front then why not us? More importantly, why is it okay to borrow today for the future and not good to use our resources to leverage assets for tomorrow?”
He continued: “We must be creative in our quest to raise revenue [for] our development by giving direct access to our resources in a manner that is open and transparent and operates within laws that exist outside our country. It is time to re-imagine our future. We all must be tired of being cheated by foreign companies and we are restraining ourselves with this same vehicle they use. We have to maximize the value of income that is due to the republic… That is the prime objective of the MIIF.”
Ken Ofori Atta explained that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration seek to leverage the value of the country’s mineral resources to investors who want to access more resources but do not want to invest directly in the country.
“This desire for domestic aid and the expectation of operating in a global market only limits development. The NPP [administration] is determined to break the economy free from these old boundaries…if we don’t do that, we will allow ourselves to remain captives of international companies that take our resources and simply market in the same groups we choose to ignore,” Ofori-Atta said.