Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah has been asked to hold his horses in defending the controversial Agyapa Gold Royalties Management Deal passed by parliament.
Founding President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe believes that contrary to the confidence being exhibited by the MP for New Juaben North in defending the deal, parliament and its finance committee which he (Assibey-Yeboah) chairs did a terrible job in passing the agreement.
The Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu after conducting a corruption risk assessment on the Agyapa deal described it as susceptible to “nepotism, cronyism and favouritism” as well as lacking probity and accountability.
Mr Assibey-Yeboah in reaction to the Special Prosecutors assessment said Mr Martin Amidu lacked understanding on the deal and has thus done the sloppiest job he has ever put out based on his assessment.
However, Franklin Cudjoe in an interview with GhanaWeb asserted that it is rather the Finance Committee Chairman who has failed in his duty.
“He did a bad job. Mr Assibey-Yeboah is my friend, he did a totally poor job, a thoroughly poor job. They did not do a proper valuation, they did not asses the valuation well. I mean the governments own AG had issues with the deal. If this deal was seen through by the Finance Committee properly, I don’t think the issues the Special Prosecutor raised would come up. I am sorry Mr Assibey-Yeboah, you did a very poor job,” Franklin Cudjoe stated.
According to the Founding President of the policy think tank, one of the biggest issues with the Agyapa agreement passed by parliament is the value placed on the nations gold reserve which he says is supposed to be placed in the region of $2.5 billion instead of $1 billion.
“It should have been apparent enough for them to realise that we have done something similar. Look, Anglo Gold Ashanti, we had a golden share which was giving us $150 million every year. the moment we sold that, we are getting $50 million every year. That is exactly the comparative analysis they should have done at the committee,” he stated
He, however, emphasized that even though it will be impossible for parliament to rectify the defects detected in the agreement, IMANI is not calling for an abrogation since the of idea of maximising the value of the nation’s resources is not a bad one but demands a thorough and transparent process.
Nobody is against capitalist maximisation of value, we are not against it. What we are against is the process leading to that. Even their own calculations, based on international comparators and local comparators we think the value should have been about $2.5 billion and not a billion dollars.
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