Increase stake in extractive industry to increase revenue – Govt urged

The Co-chair of the Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), Dr Steve Manteaw, has called for active state participation in the extractive industry.

That, he said, would help the country to raise a lot of revenue from the country’s mineral resources.

Dr Manteaw, who is the Executive Director of Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), made the call at a technical workshop held here at the weekend to discuss the 2019 GHEITI Reports for mining and oil and gas.

He said “to develop Ghana must take huge stake in the extraction of its mineral resources and also add value to the resources to accelerate national development,” saying “The nexus between resources extraction and development” could not be disputed.

The programme organised by the GHEITI Secretariat under the Ministry of Finance was under the auspices of German development organisations,  GIZ and Swiss government development organisation, the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs, the Swiss go.

It was to apprise members of the two media organisations, including some officials of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency, Tullow Ghana, Petroleum Commission, Ghana Revenue Authority, and Centre for Extractive Development Africa, on the 2019 GHEITI Reports for Mining and Oil and Gas.

Dr Manteaw indicated that countries such as United States, Canada, and United Kingdom developed on the back of the active participation of the state in the exploitation of the mineral resources.

He said in instances where the state was not directly involved in the extraction of mineral resources in those countries, local companies were involved in the extraction  of the mineral resources.

Thus, Dr Manteaw, said, the value accrued from the extraction   of the mineral resources stayed in the country to facilitate the development of their respective economies and their currencies.

The Co-Chair for GHEITI for instance, mentioned British Petroleum in the United Kingdom which was actively involved in the extraction of mineral resources both within and outside the country, Exxon Mobil for the United States of America.

In Africa, Dr Manteaw cited the case of Botswana which had bought huge stake in companies mining for diamond in the country, saying in some of the companies the government had bought 50 per cent shares.

According to the Co-Chair of GHEITI, Ghana had not raised much from its mineral resources due to the country’s low participation in the exploitation of its mineral resources.

The President of IFEJ, RaybornBulley, said it was important for journalists to highlight the GHEITI Reports on mining and oil and gas in a bid to promote transparency in the sectors.

He said highlighting on the GHEITI on mining and oil and gas would help put duty bearers on their toes and make them accountable.

The Coordinator of the GHEITI, Mohammed Bashiru Abdul-Razak, said Ghana signed on the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative in 2003 as part of measures to promote transparency in the mineral resource sector.

He said the GHEITI Secretariat had started the process to develop the GHEITI reports on mining and oil and gas for the year 2020.

Mr Abdul-Razak indicated that a law was being developed to make the GHEITI legal and obligatory for the country.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE, PEDUASE

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