The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson has revealed the intention of the Minority Caucus to write to the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority and the London Stock Exchange (LSE) regarding the listing of Agyapa Royalties Limited on the LSE.

Speaking on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem on Wednesday, the former Deputy Finance Minister said a statement will be written to the regulatory body.

He noted that despite being displeased with the listing, it expected a certain amount of capital to be raised from the listing.

According to the legislator, the expected $1 billion capital to be raised from the listing was ‘inadequate’ as the real value of the listing is valued at $3.7 billion.

We will be writing to LSE that we are expecting $1.8 billion from the listing and not the $500 million from the issuance of 49 percent shares of Agyapa Royalties. We won’t accept the $500 million because the company is worth more than $1 billion.

Cassiel Ato Forson

He added that if the said $1.8 billion was not realized from the listing, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) upon the assumption of power will terminate the agreement with the Government of Ghana (GoG).

“If the LSE fails to raise $1.8 billion for Ghana in the listing and the NDC comes to power, we will abrogate the deal with them so they should advise themselves,” he added.

He bemoaned the secrecy around the deal, urging the government to come clean on the deal.

“When [the] government comes clean on the deal and gives answers to the legitimate questions we’ve raised, why not, we will accept the deal but for now, it’s a stinking deal and we are fully against it,” he stressed.


The Creation of Agyapa Royalties

Parliament in 2018 passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act (Act 2018) to manage the equity interests in mining companies and also receive royalties on behalf of the Government of Ghana.

The Minerals Income Investment Fund is mandated to manage and invest these royalties and revenue it receives on behalf of Ghana and invest them for higher returns.

To do this, the law enables the Fund to establish Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to appropriate these investments.

In July 2020, the government introduced an amendment to the Act to ensure that the SPVs that the Fund would establish to manage investments get unrestricted independence.

On the back of the amendment and the original provisions of the act, the Minerals Income Investment Fund set up a limited liability company known as Agyapa Royalties Limited (previously Asaase Royalties Limited).

The Controversies surrounding Agyapa Royalties

The controversy over the Agyapa Royalties deal started on August 14, 2020, when the Majority MPs secured the numbers to pass the agreement although the Minority staged a walkout.

The controversies heightened when Agyapa Royalties Limited was discovered to be an offshore company to be set up in Channels Island of Jersey in the UK, a tax haven coupled with the fact that it was to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The main controversy, however, is that the deal is linked with the initial name for the SPV, Asaase Royalties.

It has been alleged that some powerful people in current government-owned Asaase Royalties and the name was changed quickly when the cover was blown.

The identities of the top management of Agyapa Royalties, like the son of Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has also been a source of controversy.