If the Agyapa deal comes back to Parliament in the same shape and form, the Minority Caucus will fiercely resist it, Tamale North MP Alhassan Suhuyini has said.
Speaking on Class91.3FM’s current affairs programme ‘The Watchdog’ on Saturday, 27 March 2021, the opposition MP told show host Eugene Bawelle that the Minority Caucus was not against the deal in principle but insists the right things be done regarding it.
“The Agyapa deal, in all sincerity, was not opposed in its entirety because nobody has ever been against making more gains for Ghana using its natural resources but the process and vehicle used have always been the problem and, so, we opposed the Agyapa deal initially because of the process and the vehicle that were going to be used”, he explained on the show.
“It was MPs, who, together, passed the Minerals Income Investment Act (MIIF), so, we understand that there is the need for us to do something about our natural resources and maximise the gains that we make as a country, but if it comes again in the form that it came, expect renewed and forced resistance to it but we are saying that if it makes sense, I mean nobody – like we’ve said repeatedly; our intention as a minority group, is not to obstruct government business, it is to facilitate government business in the interest of the nation and the citizens of Ghana.
His co-discussant on the show, Mr John Kumah, MP for Ejisu, said but for the “propaganda” churned out against it, there was nothing wrong with the deal.
Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta recently said: “I don’t think that we broke any rules” with regard to the procurement process of the deal, adding that the release of the corruption and anti-corruption risk assessment report on the transaction by former Special Prosecutor Martin Amidu without discussing it with him was not right.
On the first day of his vetting by Parliament’s Appointments Committee on Thursday, 25 March 2021, the former Finance Minister, who has been nominated for the same portfolio by President Nana Akufo-Addo, said: “I think, really, there’s quite a bit of cynicism about that transaction and for me, for the house, for such a report to be put out in the public without us or myself, as Minister of Finance having a chance to discuss it, I think it’s a disservice to our democracy and that is such a fundamental right that I think we, all, as a people, should be careful about such things”.
“And, so, the speculative issues and the risk associated with most transactions, discussions by resubmitting to parliament, will enable us to work those things out”, Mr Ofori-Atta noted.
In his view, the report of the Office of the Special Prosecutor could have been balanced.
“We should also note beyond that and the reason I brought the Act out because the Act was well-debated and put into motion. I think risks are part of every investment that you make and parliament gives me the onus, mandate to go and raise bonds – $2 billion, $3 billion with all sorts of risks – and, so far, these three years, we have brought the best pricing under what comparable countries could enjoy”.