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Government Told To Increase Mining Share
 
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07-Oct-2011  
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Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU) has urged government to marshal the political courage to up Ghana’s stake in the mining industry.

According to the group, it is only such bold political decisions that can change the destiny of Ghana.

Recently City & Business Guide reported that Ghana currently holds zero percent share in five mining companies operating in the country.

The mining companies include Newmont Ahafo and Akyem Mines, AngloGold Ashanti mining projects at Obuasi, Iduapriem and Teberebie and Noble Mineral Resources project at Bibiani.

The Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, in a letter sent to the Attorney General, which was chanced upon by this paper, expressed grave concern about the development and sought the AG’s legal advice to help rectify the current situation.

GMWU said the government of Guinea has taken the initiative to increase the country’s mining stake, calling on government to emulate Guinean’s example.

A press statement signed by Prince William Ankrah, General Secretary of the group said “a report in the Mining Journal of September 2, 2011 indicated that the National Council of Transition in Guinea has proposed ownership of 35 percent in its mining companies after debate on the country’s mining code.

“The Journal reported that the code recommended a free participation level of 15 percent for the government and the right to buy an additional 20 percent.”

In addition, a minimum investment of US$ 1 billion should be the basis upon which mining concessions will be awarded.

This, the statement said “is a clear manifestation of a country capable of dictating the pace on competitive international business landscape without succumbing to the manipulation and opportunistic characters of those who facilitate FDI into low income countries.”

The statement further noted that Sierra Leone has also passed a law that compels mining companies to set aside 0.5 percent of revenue accrued from sale of their products into a development fund to be used in implementing CSR initiatives.

This approach, according to the Deputy Minister for Mining and Mineral Development of Sierra Leone, is to ensure stability and mutual cooperation between the businesses and the communities.

These revelations, the statement noted, were made at a recent 4th West and Central African Mining Summit held in Accra from 26-27 September 2011 at the Accra International Conference Center.

It also came to light that Ghana has the lowest corporate tax rate in the sub-region.

According to the Mineworkers, “The evidence is indeed worrying since they deny the country of the much needed revenue required to revamp our struggling
economy.”

They therefore called on the country’s legislators to emulate the bold initiative taken by their Guinean and Sierra Leonean counterparts to maximize the countries’ revenues from such a strategic sector of the economy.

“It is therefore the view of Ghana Mineworkers’ Union that “a stitch in time saves nine” approach will be adopted in effecting the necessary changes through a thorough engagement process.”
 
 
 
Source: Esther Awuah/D-Guide
 
 

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