The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union says the government must increase its stake in the mining companies and create an enabling environment for the active participation of indigenous companies, the Ghana Mine Workers’ Union (GMWU) of the Trades Union Congress, has said.
That, according to the union was due to the fact that the country’s mining industry continued to be dominated and controlled by foreign interest with over 99 per cent of mining companies being foreign who owned 90 per cent of the shares with government left with only 10 per cent carrying interest.
General-Secretary of GMWU, Abdul-MoominGbana, stated this at the Union’s Executive Council meeting at New Abirem in the Eastern Region last Tuesday.
He said the country’s adoption and reliance on a “tax-royalty” fiscal regime had denied it of the benefits it could have derived from the mining sector all these years.
“Considering the generous fiscal giveaways (including excessive repatriation of mining revenues by multinational businesses, signing of stability and development agreements, etc.) which continues to deny Ghana its fair share of revenue under this so-called tax-royalty fiscal regime, we believe that the time has come for this narrative to change and ought to change quite swiftly,” he stressed.
Mr Gbana said the country could change the narrative by effecting change in the ownership structure of mineral assets.
He called on the government to see to the realisation of lofty plans to add up to efforts aimed at transforming the country’s mining sector.
Mr Gbana used the opportunity to urge local entities to be more attentive to workers’ wellbeing and welfare, institute high standards of accountability, and comply with corporate regulations and respective international standards.
“This will avert the unfortunate but avoidable situation we witnessed in the financial sector that almost led to its collapse,” he added.
Mr Gbana stressed the need to increase the share of the Mineral Development Fund and exempt it from the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Act 2017 (Act 947).
He said that would address the age-long concerns of deprivation and underdevelopment in mining communities.
”The union believes that the full realisation of the MDF would be felt when the current lopsided sharing model of the MDF is changed, right amounts are disbursed at the right time to beneficiaries, and the capping of the Fund is exempted from the scope of the Earmarked Funds Capping and Realignment Act 2017 (Act 947),” he stated.
“Let us therefore renew our spirit of advocacy and campaign noting that nothing will work when a key voice such as ours decide to be silent and be determined to do even more,” MrGbana stressed.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE