The Alliance of Civil Society Organizations working on Extractives, Anti-Corruption and Good governance has described as ‘hasty’ the implementation of the Mineral Income Investment Fund (MIIF) by government.
The group today during a press conference posited that while the intention behind the Act may be genuine, and aimed at maximizing benefits of gold royalties to the State, the opaque manner in which the Act is being implemented raises moral and governance questions.
According to them, government’s relatively weak transparency and public oversight arrangements, and the haste with which it is running to the market, in spite of concerns raised by a broad section of the Ghanaian populace breeds public mistrust on matters of public policy and stifles consensus building.
Further in the press statement, the group asserted that the lack of support for the implementation of MIIF by Ghanaians, they believe is as result of the lack of or inadequate consultations on the MIIF bill passed into law in 2018.
They argue that, in the context of good governance, government ought to make consultations even with the poor in the most remote areas in the country on important decisions such as the creation and implementation of policies such as the MIIF.
“We note that, within the context of good governance, such an important decision requires consultation even with the poor woman in Tarkwa or Obuasi and other communities, who have lost their livelihoods to mining, and continues to bear the negative consequences, in a language she will understand. The Chiefs and Queen mothers who have given their lands and continue to engage government with the hope that one day, at least, the requirement of the Mineral Development Fund Act to cede 10 per cent mineral royalties to develop their communities, will be respected in full. Any assumption that the people will not understand such policies is very disrespectful in a democracy“, an excerpt of the statement read.
This the CSO’s further stated in their statement during the press briefing that, “Ghanaians will probably not have lost sleep over this Agyapa – Mineral Income Investment transaction, if it had been orchestrated under an open and transparent regime such as the PRMA provides. Indeed, what the government is intending to do with our mineral royalties would not have been permissible under the PRMA”.
Our checks as a media to collaborate the above statement has shown that, for instance, Section 5 of the PRMA prohibits the use of the Petroleum Holding Fund, which includes royalties, as collateral for borrowing. It also prohibits borrowing against the country’s petroleum reserves, which the Minerals Income Investment Fund seeks to do.
MIIF is a fund established by law to manage the equity interests of the country in mining companies, to receive mineral royalties and other related income due the Republic from mining operations.
The implementation of the Act, through the Agyapa Royalties Investment Limited, is to aid the country swap its future cash flows from mineral royalties for an immediate $ 1 billion cash out of $ 500 million will be ceded to the government.