General News of Saturday, 16 October 2021
• Former president Mahama kicks against new Agyapa deal
• Ghana won’t be able to pay its debts if government’s trend is not halted, Mahama
• The Akufo-Addo-led government introduced the Agyapa deal to help leverage Ghana’s gold royalties
Plans by government to re-introduce the Agyapa royalties deal have been opposed by former president, John Dramani Mahama, who insists the government is mortgaging the entire wealth of the country.
According to him, the deal is inconsiderate as government is invariably putting the future of the youth at risk.
“They [Akufo-Addo government] are mortgaging Ghana for everything. They have sold everything for loans. Now they don’t have anything to sell anymore. It is our gold that is left, that is the Agyapa they want to do.
“Because they see that they’ve sold the utensils, they’ve sold the chairs in the hall, the bed in the bedroom has been sold, now they are looking for the next item to sell. They have settled on the windows to sell. That is our gold, which they want to sell this time. They want to use that to go and collect over one billion dollars,” he lamented in an interview on Cape 99.3FM.
He said even though the government has benefited and accrued the most revenue from Ghana’s resources, the country has nothing to show for it.
According to a citinewsroom report, the former president said that the Akufo-Addo-led government wants to mortgage the 10% stake it receives as gold royalties for loans to spend today.
“Even though the ESLA bond we brought was supposed to be for five (5) years, today, the last ESLA bond they did, they have extended it to between 20-30 years. It means you and I, our children and our grandchildren will continue paying the loan until beyond 2030. GETFund has been mortgaged for the next 15 years. This means all contributions we pay for GETFund will only go toward paying loans and not for anything else,” he explained.
The 2020 National Democratic Congress presidential candidate added that “Our children will pay and pay and pay but won’t be able to finish paying. Our grandchildren will take over from them and continue paying the debts.”
He said the country will get to a point where it cannot pay its debts if the trend the government is setting is not stopped.
The woes of the Agyapa royalties deal were compounded by a risk assessment conducted by former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu after widespread criticisms by stakeholders who insist it was not in the best interest of the country.
The deal which was introduced by the Akufo-Addo government to help leverage Ghana’s gold royalties was suspended after these.