Finance Minister under the erstwhile John Mahama administration, Seth Terkper, has questioned the reason behind the exclusion of a major policy such as the Agyapa Royalties from the 2020 budget as well as the 2020 Mid-Year Budget Review.
According to him, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Att, despite making mention of MIIF in presenting both budgets to Parliament, failed to provide sufficient information on Agyapa Royalties which affects the fiscal framework of government.
Among the information Mr Terkper says the government failed to give to the House included; the mortgaging of the current $200 million dollars accrued to the State from its mineral royalties as well as it being the substantive replacement of the Minerals Development Fund (MDF).
In reviewing the 2020 Substantive and Supplementary Budgets, the Government did not give any of the following fiscal measures to Parliament;
- That the MIIF will substantively replace the Minerals Development Fund [MDF] from 2020 – as the Government noted;
- No policy on how current MDF beneficiaries, including traditional authorities, will continue to get their money;
- The present value computations for about $200 million that accrues from the royalties that is to be “mortgaged” for $500 million to $1 billion loan facilty; and
- No explicit provisions in Financing (or borrowing) and Public Debt in the Budgets from 2020 onwards—besides the International Monetary Fund (IMF) COVID Loan, he wrote.
Mr Terkper further in the statement stated that the government in applying for the IMF Covid-19 loan in March 2020, engaged in its habitual parallel data reporting by excluding the monetisation of the country’s mineral royalties while including it in the 2019 budget.
Table below shows inclusion of monetization of mineral royalties in 2019 budget but its exclusion from the 2020 budget.