Stay Agyapa IPO – Amidu

Martin Amidu

Special Prosecutor (SP) Martin Amidu has called on the Ministry of Finance to suspend the Initial Public Offer (IPO) of Agyapa Royalties to allow the Office of the Special Prosecutor to do corruption risk assessment on the transaction.

In a letter, the SP said non-submission of the information and documents by the ministry on the deal as requested had delayed the risk assessment.

“The information and documents you supplied concerned mainly the processes for and the appointment of the Transaction Advisors which goes to the root of any corruption risk assessment,” Mr. Amidu stated in the letter.

According to him, the information and documents relating to the identification and recommendation by the transaction advisors to the Finance Ministry for the appointment of other services providers and or underwriters that may be required to complete the transaction as provided in clause 2.2.1 of the mandate agreement are critical to any through corruption risk assessment.

He added that the legal opinions, particularly of the principal legal advisor to the government under the Constitution, are relevant to ensure compliance with her recommendations as part of any corruption risk assessment.

Mr. Amidu urged the Finance Ministry to abide by the results of the corruption risk assessment it is undertaking on the transaction before the ministry moves to the launch of the IPO transaction.

“This Office makes this suggestion on the grounds of prudence on your part and to also not give the impression that the mandate of this Office on prevention of corruption is of no consequence to the transaction,” the SP indicated.

“This Office would have wished to complete its corruption risk assessment on the Agyapa Royalties Transaction soonest but for the non-submission of the information and documents pending to be submitted by your ministry,” the letter stressed.



The Office of the Special Prosecutor, in early September, requested Parliament for information and documents on the Agyapa Royalty deal in line with the mandate of the Office to exercise the functions and powers of prevention of corrupt activities.

The government’s decision to consolidate all the country’s potential mineral income in one fund and largely managed by a special purpose vehicle (SPV) called Agyapa Royalties has generated controversy, despite copious explanation by the Finance Ministry that Agyapa Minerals Limited is 100 per cent owned by Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) Act, 2018 (Act 978), which is also 100 per cent owned by government and that there are no ‘hidden beneficiaries’.

A group calling itself an Alliance of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working on extractives, anti-corruption and good governance, has been ‘firing’ from all cylinders, claiming that some elements in the government have ‘huge’ interests in the whole deal but could not name those with the ‘interests’.

They further claimed that there had not been ‘full disclosure’ on those behind the SPV (Agyapa Royalties) despite the deal going through Parliament before MIIF was empowered to commence the deal on behalf of the government.


Raising Questions

Dr. Steve Manteaw, who says he speaks for the Alliance of CSOs, insisted that there was lack of transparency in the whole deal and that “rather raises moral and governance questions,” adding, “The assumption that once everything goes through Parliament it is above board and represents the interest of all Ghanaians is deceptive and turns democracy on its head. It makes the elected the only relevant stakeholders in policymaking.”


Elite Capture

During a two-day media engagement to discuss the Ghana Extractive Industry Transparent Initiative (GHEITI) 2017/2018 Mining and Oil/Gas Reports in Koforidua last Friday, Dr. Manteaw announced that he would ‘provoke’ a national conversation on the Agyapa saga.

The Koforidua engagement agenda was without this subject and he could only take a cursory swipe at the arrangement, which, according to him, bore the traits of elite capture, a reference to a situation where government officials take hold of public investments.


Ken’s Take

Since the debate got hotter, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has been insisting that there are no hidden shareholders, saying “it is a clean transaction as far as I know and we’re just looking for ways to maximize value and to play in the game that our multinationals play and now we have the skill set to be able to do that.”

He said, “As far as I know, it (Agyapa Royalties deal) has been as transparent as you can see it; it’s gone through Parliament on many levels, gone through Cabinet on many levels and there’s truly nothing to hide except creating something new that may be uncomfortable but it is something new that is going to stand us in great order.”


By Ernest Kofi Adu