The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, has charged the newly reconstituted Board of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company Limited (PMMC) to work together to tackle the menace of gold smuggling in the country.
According to him, the act was impacting negatively on Ghana’s foreign exchange reserve and it was time to tackle it head on.
A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, George Mireku Duker, who said this on behalf of the Minister, during the inauguration of the board in Accra yesterday, asked the board to focus on transforming PMMC as the fulcrum around which gold business revolves in the country.
Chaired by Kiston Akomeng Kissi, a nominee of the President, other members include the Managing Director of PMMC, Nana Akwasi Awuah; Member of Parliament (MP) of Salaga North, Alhaji Alhassan Abdallah Iddi and the Advisor to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benjamin Nii Ayi Aryee.
The rest are the Acting Director of the National Folklore Board, Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante, a private legal practitioner, Komla Onny and another nominee of the President, Alhaji Ahmadu Kaleem.
Mr Jinapor further advised the board to collaborate with relevant authorities including the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to expedite work in resolving challenges of withholding taxes associated with gold sales.
“The PMMC is a critical body in realising the objectives of the government. We cannot allow gold smuggling and withholding taxes to disrupt our plans to move gold business forward for the good of Ghana and our economy.
It is the hope of the government that these matters are resolved in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders in the gold business,” he added.
He said collaboration with the Bank of Ghana (BOG) was also key to ensuring a flourishing gold selling industry in the country
The Minister assured the board of the government’s total support in charting a new path for the company.
On his part, Mr Kissi noted that the PMMC, which was in a declining state, was gradually being revived, adding that the company was about completing work on its refinery project.
He said the board was determined to address the issues about withholding taxes on gold export.
Ghana, which was producing about 100 kilos of gold per day, he explained, should not lack foreign currency saying the board was ready to make “sacrifices for the good of the company.”
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS