Saturday, 20 April

Akufo-Addo 'wasted' $12m of taxpayers' money on 'ghostly' Agyapa deal, hid it from all of us – Kofi Adams

Buem MP Kofi Adams

Buem MP Kofi Adams has accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of hiding from the whole country, the recently-revealed fact that his government "wasted" $12 million of taxpayers' money on the botched Agyapa deal.

Mr Adams, who is a member of the Public Accounts Committee of parliament, wondered why not even the Auditor-General's report captured that expenditure.

The expenditure came to light for the very first time when the Minerals Income Investment Fund, Mr Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng, appeared before the Public Accounts Committee.

The controversial deal, which was meant to raise funds through mineral royalties for key infrastructure projects, was suspended by President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2021 after civil society groups and the main opposition National Democratic Congress raised red flags.

Before the cancellation of the deal, $12 million had already been spent on its initial public offering on the London Stock Exchang, Mr Koranteng revealed on Tuesday, 13 February 2024.

According to him, the Ministry of Finance subscribed to the deal upon advice from international consultants.

“My understanding, honourable chair, is that the Ministry of Finance procured the services of international consultancy and companies and financial institutions that have done this in the past and that the advice provided was what Ministry of Finance stood on", he told the committee.

He added: “We started with the Ministry of Finance and from the documents that we have, it is clear that the correct advice was provided on the set-up of a gold royalties company where the streaming of the royalties would benefit Ghana.”

Commenting on the MIIF CEO's revelation, Mr Adams told Accra-based Citi FM: “This is the very first time that we all are being provided with this information that the country actually wasted $12 million of its money, at the time we have been told that the country was faced with a number of challenges, in chasing after a ghost, and that the president and all those who considered this whole deal, never informed all of us that $12 million of our money had already been funded into a project that didn’t have the permission of appropriate bodies".

“According to the CEO of MIIF", Mr Adams continued, "the Ministry of Finance gave them the go-ahead to go into such an investment and that in taking a decision to stop, they were not involved; and that he could not even provide us with the reasons why the decision to stop was taken". 

"And, according to him, the letter to stop was sent to the Attorney General, who looked at it and advised. They, as MIIF, were not involved in any way in terms of stoppage. And truly speaking, this was the first time. And this was not even in the Auditor-General’s report but this was out of a public interest question", he pointed out.

Providing context for the revelation, Mr Adams said: "A member wanted to know about the Agyapa deal and the recent investment in the lithium found in the central region.”