In the wake of extremely low dividends paid to Ghana by mining firms operating in the country, experts urged here on Wednesday for swift reforms in the sector so the country could make any meaningful incomes from solid metal extraction.
Steve Manteaw, Co-chair of the Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) underscored the urgency for the reforms in an interview with Xinhua during the launch of the 2015 GHEITI report.
The report revealed that only two mining firms had paid dividends to government in 2015 although Ghana owned at least 10 percent carried interest in all mining firms in the country.
“So it raises the question as to the actual effect of the 10 percent carried interest that government has. In my view we could draw some lessons from the petroleum sector where our Carried Interest and Participating Interest are calculated as a share of production and paid upfront,” he urged.
The EITI report also reported that Ghana lost the time value for money because “money worth today will be worth very little in the next three months. So the earlier we can lay hands on my money and do something with it the better.”
Manteaw also urged that Ghana, Africa’s second largest gold producer after South Africa, should amend the regulations in the sector to ensure that the country receives maximum benefits from mining.
Adam Mutawakilu, Member of Parliament (MP) for Damongo and Minority Ranking Member of the parliamentary committee on Mines and Energy, called for the establishment of a state mining firm in order for Ghana to be able to rake in its fair share of mineral exploited in the country.
“First and foremost we have the GNPC (Ghana National Petroleum Corporation) which is our national oil company which takes interest and interplays in the oil industry, but we don’t have this in mining. We have a regulator-Minerals Commission, but we do not have a company like GNPC in the mining sector,” the legislator said.
He was of the view that until the West African gold producer sets up a national mining company which also operates in the sector things cannot improve.
Launching the report, Deputy Minister for Finance Kwaku Kwarteng said revenue from the sector should be invested such that future generations would also benefit from the resource extraction.
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