The Mine Workers’ Union has called on the government to as a matter of urgency set up a mining revenue management law as is currently operating in the oil and gas industry.
The move according to the Union would regulate the use of mining revenue in a transparent and sustainable manner.
Mr. Prince William Ankrah, General Secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers’ Union who made the call at the national executive meeting in Accra said: “We also want to renew our call to government for the establishment of a mining community development fund to cure the glaring infrastructural deficits and to serve as the catalyst for progressive development.”
“The hypocrisy of the mining industry is rife. However as believers and crusaders of equity and fairness, we believe it is important to deepen consultations in critical decision making among stakeholders in the industry,” he said.
Mr. Ankrah said reforms in the mining fiscal regime including amendments to mining taxes and other decisions that had direct impact on business operations should be consultative, taking into cognisance the sustainability variable in the business equation.
“We will like to urge all stakeholders including government and employers to approach such reforms with a win-win mindset,” he said.
He said “we also believe as a Union that “what is good for the gander and is equally good for the goose” mining companies operating in this economy therefore deserve a level playing field even though in exceptional circumstances, they could be approached or handled on a case by case basis.”
Mr. Ankrah said it was on this premise that the union declared its support for the government of the day, when the Professor Akilakpa Sawyer’s Committee was set up to review, re-negotiate and redesign investment agreements across the mining industry and draw the baseline on all subsequent engagements on this subject-matter.
He however, stated that “four years down the lane however, we are yet to see the report of the committee”.
“This report is long overdue and it is important that government shares the findings and recommendations with all stakeholders in order to rekindle and strengthen the confidence of mining businesses in the country,” he said.
Reflecting on the sector’s performance this year Mr. Ankrah said 2015 without a doubt had been quite daunting with all its attendant problems and challenges.
“From a certain unsolicited unitary negotiation agenda from the Ghana Chamber of Mines and its forth and back, continuous redundancies in our industry, dooms day predictions by pundits about the future of our industry, to 2015 protracted negotiations among others, one has no choice but to stay awake and think more strategically than ever,” he said.
By Times Reporter