Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has refuted claims by President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe that he(Kojo) has said whenever government of Ghana secures a majoritarian partisan approval for any type of deal, the views of CSOs before or after do not matter.
Mr Franklin Cudjoe has advised Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah to tread cautiously in his tough stance against the views of Civil Society Organisations(CSOs), especially on matters of national interest.
He claimed the Minister’s flagrant disregard for the views of CSOs in some crucial matters such as the AGYAPA and DOMELEVO issues smacks of disrespect.
“Oppong-Nkrumah effectively says when the government of Ghana secures a majoritarian partisan approval for any type of deal, the views of CSOs before or after do not matter. Sorry, my bro, we CSOs respectfully disagree,” he stated in a Facebook post a while ago.”
He added: “Remember we were once your hallowed friends. And like the graves in a cemetery stare us the living, you may be saying to CSOs that ‘we were once like you’. We pray it is not sooner.”
But in an interview on Okay FM monitored by Kasapafmonline.com, Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah stressed he never said what has been attributed to him.
He stated that the government has worked with CSOs over the years and will not disregard their views on any issue of national interest.
Hon. Oppong Nkrumah, however, added that the government disagrees with the position taken by CSOs that the Agyapa Royalties deal is opaque.
“I’ve seen that some persons including Franklin Cudjoe claim I’ve said the views of CSOs don’t matter. Never have I said such a thing and I’ll never say so. What I’ve said is that any question there is, the government is ready to answer and we have already started answering questions over the deal. Every question that will be raised by SCOs will not be disregarded. We’ve worked with CSOs over the years and we’ll continue to work with them. But we don’t agree with them that the transaction is opaque. If it is indeed opaque why do we present documents on the deal to Parliament for scrutiny,” Oppong Nkrumah quizzed?
The Alliance of CSOs on Extractives, Anti-corruption and Good Governance are demanding the suspension of the Agyapa Minerals Royalties Investment deal as it describes the agreement as state capture.
Addressing the media, former Chairman for Public Interest Accountability Committee,(PIAC) Dr. Steve Manteaw charged the government to engage stakeholders to explore other options of raising funds for the government.
In an interview with Starr News, Dr. Manteaw stated the CSOs will rally behind NDC flagbearer John Dramani Mahama to ensure cancellation of the Agyapa deal as he promised no matter the cost to the nation.
“What we are telling government is let’s slow down…let’s have more transparency, more consensus building around the approach before we go forward with the approach. I don’t know of any national emergency that warrants that we should rush the process to raise funds for development.”
“Under the current arrangement, with the Mineral Income Investment act, we do not see any such transparency, accountability and public oversight arrangement, so it makes it very risky and prone to elite capture and abuse.”
Parliament recently gave approval for the creation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in fulfillment of the Minerals Income Investment Fund Amendment which is yet to be assented by the President.