Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta says the Agyapa Royalties agreement is wholly in the best interest of the country.
According to him, the Akufo-Addo administration has no intention of mortgaging and ripping off Ghana’s ‘future resources’ to enrich persons walking within the corridors of power.
At a press conference Thursday evening, Ken Ofori-Atta told the media: “There are those who say we should be careful not to mortgage ourselves today, the gold for our future generations. This is not the case. But I have a few questions for people who have those concerns. If it is okay for foreign investors to hold concessions [and] sell what is on the ground up front then why not us? More importantly, why is it okay to borrow today for the future and not good to use our resources to leverage assets for tomorrow?”
He continued: “We must be creative in our quest to raise revenue [for] our development by giving direct access to our resources in a manner that is open and transparent and operates within laws that exist outside our country. It is time to re-imagine our future. We all must be tired of being cheated by foreign companies and we are restraining ourselves with this same vehicle they use. We have to maximize the value of income that is due to the republic… That is the prime objective of the MIIF.”
He added that the Ministry saw the need to create value for the country’s mineral resources, by leveraging that value to investors who do not want to invest directly in the country but want to access more resources so that the government gets access to […..] accelerate Ghana’s development and economic diversification.
“This desire for domestic aid and the expectation of operating in a global market only limits development. The NPP [administration] is determined to break the economy free from these old boundaries…if we don’t do that, we will allow ourselves to remain captives of international companies that take our resources and simply market in the same groups we choose to ignore,” Ofori-Atta said.