The Ghana Chamber of Mines has called on the Government to take urgent steps to close the about two-year data deficit in the report of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI).
That, the Chamber said, would make the recommendations for policy considerations and implementation to meet current trends in the extractive sector and support particularly the development of host communities.
At the launch of the GHEITI for the oil and gas and mining sectors for 2020 in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Sulemanu Koney, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber said it was worrying to have such a periodic reporting gap.
He indicated that since Ghana singed onto the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in 2002, there have been persistent reporting gap, which was not good for industry and policy decision making.
EITI is a global standard for improving transparency and accountability in payments and revenues in the oil, gas and mining sectors, and serves as a diagnostic tool to guide policy reforms to reduce all forms of corruption in the extractive sector.
“It’s about time we find durable solution to ensure that we’re always on time so that whatever recommendations been made will be relevant and timely,” Mr Koney said.
He also called for proper utilisation of mineral funds by ensuring that the government incorporate development projects for communities all contracts signed and not only focus on the benefits including taxes.
“A focus on the fiscals alone is not sufficient because we all know that mining is and the extractive sector should be a catalyst for development. Therefore, the new contracts mining companies would enter with government should incorporate developmental projects to transform the communities,” he said.
Dr Steve Manteaw, the Spokesperson of the Civil Society Organisation in the Extractive Industry, also expressed concern about the existing gap in the report, but noted there were some present data for some reflections.
He disclosed that in the coming months, Ghana would go through an international EITI validation process – a hallmark for EITI quality assurance, which would subject the country’s EITI implementation to global standards.
“When that proves to be the case, then Ghana will be adjudged as EITI compliant and this gives a seal of approval that this is a country that is managing its natural resources in ways that are open, transparent and accountable to its citizens and makes Ghana attractive for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and development assistance,” Dr Manteaw said.
Mr George Mireku Duker, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, assured that government would consistently implement recommendations made in the EITI reports.
He said that EITI had made Ghana an exemplary country for using EITI for reforms and supported in positioning the mining, oil, and gas sectors to contribute significantly in the natural resource sector of the Ghanaian economy.
He said: “The government has been conscious in creating avenues for more transparent and judicious management of revenues from the minerals to safeguard the revenues derived from the mining, oil and gas sectors.”
He said Ghana has made significant progress on Beneficial Ownership implementation, with a new Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992) been enacted by government to addresses the Beneficial Ownership gaps in Act 179.
Among others, the 2020 GHEITI report observed that the share of mining and quarrying to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reduced marginally from 7.8 per cent in 2019 to 7.6 per cent in 2020.
It was also found that there was a 56 per cent decrease in the volume of manganese produced as production in the mineral plummeted from 5.383 million tonnes in 2019 to 2.358m tonnes in 2020.
The total volume of gold produced declined from 4.577m ounces in 2019 to 4.023m ounces in 20202, representing a downturn of 12 per cent, but the volume of bauxite produced increased from 1.116m tonnes in 2019 to 1.162m tonnes in 2020.
Meanwhile, proceeds from export of minerals in the country increased from US$6.678 billion in 2019 to $6.998bm in 2020, a 4.8 per cent year-on-year expansion in mineral revenue, with the number of persons employed by large-scale mines being 34,363.