Dr Toni Aubynn, CEO of Ghana's Mineral Commission says the 15 Civil Society Organisations, CSOs are not against the Agyapa Royalties deal but rather the approach being used in the transaction.
The CSOs are demanding a suspension of the Agyapa Royalties deal until all necessary documents have been disclosed.
The CSOs are concerned about what they describe as a lack of openness and transparency that has characterised the transaction.
They also say the deal is not in the best interest of the country.
Dr Aubynn says these groups are more concerned about the approach being employed by the government but are never against the deal.
"Gold generally tend to excite our emotions and interest. But, I think the economic and political issues were not addressed properly. I don't think the CSOs, NGOs and the opposition parties would have come out if the benefits were very clear. Nobody is against the country getting more but the approach is what is raising concerns. Nobody is against the government to multiply or quadruple the receipt of our minerals", he said on Joy FM's Newsfile
The group under the banner name ‘Alliance of CSOs working on Extractives, Anti-Corruption and Good Governance’ are calling for a multi-stakeholder conference to re-look at the deal.
At a press briefing the CSOs also alleged that although efforts are being made to justify the deal by the governing government, some political appointees, and the MIIF Secretariat, numerous concerns are yet to be addressed.
Government has already begun a stakeholder meeting with these CSOs.
Parliament passed the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018.
The act establishes the Minerals Income Investment Fund to manage the equity interests of Ghana in mining companies, and receive royalties on behalf of the government.
The fund is supposed to manage and invest these royalties and revenue from equities for higher returns for the benefit of the country. The law allows the fund to establish Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) to use for the appropriate investments. Last month, the government introduced an amendment to the act to ensure that the SPVs have unfettered independence.
The minerals royalties investment agreement between the government of Ghana and Minerals Income Investment Fund, Agyapa Royalties Limited and ARG Royalties Ghana Limited is concerning Gold Royalties Monetisation Transaction under the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act, 2018 (Act 978).
The arrangement will immediately make available US$500 million once executed and the remaining half later.