Mahama Calls For Survey of Natural Resources

President John Dramani Mahama has directed the ministers of Energy and Petroleum, and Lands and Natural Resources to seek technical support to carry out a comprehensive survey and mapping of key national resources in the country. The survey is to identify the specific locations and quantity of the oil, bauxite, diamond and gold deposits in Ghana. Findings from the survey are to provide the basis for the government to auction the identified locations for exploration by companies with more favourable terms. Briefing journalists on the President's directive yesterday (Monday), at the Flagstaff House at Kanda in Accra, a Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mr Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, said the idea was to protect the country's natural resources, achieve value for money and let Ghanaians benefit fully from the nation's natural resources. He said previous arrangements in the exploration of the country's mineral resources did not favour Ghana. For instance, he said, Ghana received only about 10 per cent of the shares in the oil industry. Mr Murtala Muhammed said President Mahama's directive was intended to reverse that unfavourable arrangement. He explained that the two ministers were tasked to get companies to do the survey and mapping . The deputy minister said after the survey, the sites would become the property of the government, and indicated that the government would then auction them to the highest bidder. In another development, the Cabinet has approved a joint application by Cola Natural Resources Ghana Limited and Medea Development Limited for exploration and production rights over the east Cape Three Points Block, covering approximately 1,560 square kilometres. Mr Murtala Muhammed said the fiscal and financial terms of the agreement to be approved by Parliament would be an improvement on previous petroleum exploration and development agreements entered into by the government. He said Cola Natural Resources would hold 60 per cent share while Medea would hold 40 per cent. Their shares would be proportionately reduced to accommodate Ghana National Petroleum Corporation's 10 per cent interest.