Ghana to process 30 per cent of gold locally – Amewu

Awaso (WR)- Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has announced plans by government to process 30 per cent of gold ore produced by the mining companies locally, beginning from November this year.

He said it was government’s policy to add value to the country’s natural resources and urged multi-national mining firms operating in Ghana to pool resources together to establish a mining refinery.

It is clear that we have not benefitted from the raw materials that have been extracted and taken out of the country, and so with the value addition, it’s very important to comply.

We’re all witnesses to the recent bill that was passed in Parliament to add value to our bauxite, and so the signal is clear that from the date the bill was passed for the next five years, we’ll not allow raw bauxite in its current form to be taken out of this country, Mr Amewu emphasised.

Mr Amewu told journalists in an interview when he led a delegation from the Ministry, Mineral Commission and Mineral Development Fund to the Ghana Bauxite Company in Awaso in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District of the Western Region.

The Minister used his visit to acquaint himself with the operations and challenges of the Company.

The government owned 20 per cent shares in the Ghana Bauxite Company while Bosai Mineral Group of China has 80 per cent.

Mr Amewu queried the management of the Bauxite Company for engaging in an affiliate transaction with a sister mining company in China, to sell bauxite ore for processing without the consent of the government.

He stated that the mining lease agreement signed between the Bauxite Company and government of Ghana required the former to consult the latter in any relationship deal outside.

He added that the Bauxite Company had violated the Sales and Purchase Agreement it signed with the government in 2014, noting that, the Company had been paying far less sales prices to the government than what was agreed.

When there is increased in prices, government doesn’t get the premium and so when there is a fall why should we be penalised for discount? the Minister asked.

Mr Amewu averred that the Company should adhere strictly to the terms of the agreement in order to avoid suffering punitive action such as cancellation of the mining lease licence.

The Ministry has very broad powers and the Minister has the right in the public interest to terminate agreements because Ghanaians have been cheated for far too long, and there are procedures for suspensions when things are not being done accurately, he said.

Mr Amewu stated that he would start exercising those powers to sanction defaulting companies in order to ensure that the nation benefitted from her raw materials to support national development.

He said there were multi-national companies incurring losses and, thus, used that as an excuse to default in payment of corporate taxes to the government.

We need to investigate why those companies are incurring losses and feel comfortable in that position, and so government wouldn’t like to be in a marriage with companies that are not making profit, Mr Amewu stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Ghana to process 30 per cent of gold locally – Amewu

Awaso (WR)- Mr John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has announced plans by government to process 30 per cent of gold ore produced by the mining companies locally, beginning from November this year.

He said it was government’s policy to add value to the country’s natural resources and urged multi-national mining firms operating in Ghana to pool resources together to establish a mining refinery.

It is clear that we have not benefitted from the raw materials that have been extracted and taken out of the country, and so with the value addition, it’s very important to comply.

We’re all witnesses to the recent bill that was passed in Parliament to add value to our bauxite, and so the signal is clear that from the date the bill was passed for the next five years, we’ll not allow raw bauxite in its current form to be taken out of this country, Mr Amewu emphasised.

Mr Amewu told journalists in an interview when he led a delegation from the Ministry, Mineral Commission and Mineral Development Fund to the Ghana Bauxite Company in Awaso in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District of the Western Region.

The Minister used his visit to acquaint himself with the operations and challenges of the Company.

The government owned 20 per cent shares in the Ghana Bauxite Company while Bosai Mineral Group of China has 80 per cent.

Mr Amewu queried the management of the Bauxite Company for engaging in an affiliate transaction with a sister mining company in China, to sell bauxite ore for processing without the consent of the government.

He stated that the mining lease agreement signed between the Bauxite Company and government of Ghana required the former to consult the latter in any relationship deal outside.

He added that the Bauxite Company had violated the Sales and Purchase Agreement it signed with the government in 2014, noting that, the Company had been paying far less sales prices to the government than what was agreed.

When there is increased in prices, government doesn’t get the premium and so when there is a fall why should we be penalised for discount? the Minister asked.

Mr Amewu averred that the Company should adhere strictly to the terms of the agreement in order to avoid suffering punitive action such as cancellation of the mining lease licence.

The Ministry has very broad powers and the Minister has the right in the public interest to terminate agreements because Ghanaians have been cheated for far too long, and there are procedures for suspensions when things are not being done accurately, he said.

Mr Amewu stated that he would start exercising those powers to sanction defaulting companies in order to ensure that the nation benefitted from her raw materials to support national development.

He said there were multi-national companies incurring losses and, thus, used that as an excuse to default in payment of corporate taxes to the government.

We need to investigate why those companies are incurring losses and feel comfortable in that position, and so government wouldn’t like to be in a marriage with companies that are not making profit, Mr Amewu stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Port authorities in Africa urged to embrace ICT

Accra- Participants at the 39th Council and Conference of the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) have urged port authorities to utilise information communication technology to enhance the turnaround time of cargo traffic and ensure efficient services.

In PMAWCA Secretary-General’s Report, the conference proposed that port authorities in the Sub-region should plan for long-term expansion of their ports facilities to promote trade.

It encouraged governments of the various port authorities to support them in land acquisition, review land management and land-use policies to prevent encroachment as well as engage in activities that would attract cargo traffic to their respective ports.

The conference also made a number of recommendations that would improve the utilisation of ports lands in the Sub-region for efficient service delivery.

Meanwhile Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport, in an earlier remarks, urged member countries of PMAWCA to constantly work together and share ideas that would ultimately promote the Sub-region as a safe and welcoming destination for shippers.

He said the government of Ghana was poised to implement the First Port Rule Policy, which would enable Customs officials from landlocked nations to operate from the country’s ports.

He said government was not oblivious of the potential logistical challenges the policy would pose and would, therefore, welcome suggestions to deal with the several bilateral protocols relating to the arrangement.

The Minister mentioned issues in relation to the mandate of the Customs Authorities of the landlocked countries would start and end, what immunities they would enjoy while they were in the country and their legal jurisdiction.

Mr Asiamah said the arrangement would ensure a win-win situation for both Ghana and the destination countries, as well as enhance trade in the Sub-region.

The four-day event was held in Accra on the theme: Best Practices in the Management of Ports Lands, which brought together Chief Executive and Managing Directors of Ports within the West and Central African region.

The conference attracted experts and stakeholders in the maritime industry who deliberated on a number of challenges facing the sector, shared ideas and proposed solutions to ensure efficient port services.

The conference appointed Mr Tonan Fatondji Augustin of the Port of Cotonou, Benin, to act as Secretary-General of PMAWCA following the resignation of Mr Michael Achagwe Luguje to take new appointment as Acting Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority.

Mr Tonan Fatondji will hold the fort until fresh elections were held in May next year to elect a new person.

Lome Port Authority, Togo, was selected to host the Association’s 40th Council and Conference next year, which would be held on the theme: The Role of the State in the Port and Maritime Economy.

PMAWCA is an inter-regional economic organisation with members stretching from Mauritania, Cape Verde, Liberia, La Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea to Angola, including landlocked countries.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Port authorities in Africa urged to embrace ICT

Accra- Participants at the 39th Council and Conference of the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) have urged port authorities to utilise information communication technology to enhance the turnaround time of cargo traffic and ensure efficient services.

In PMAWCA Secretary-General’s Report, the conference proposed that port authorities in the Sub-region should plan for long-term expansion of their ports facilities to promote trade.

It encouraged governments of the various port authorities to support them in land acquisition, review land management and land-use policies to prevent encroachment as well as engage in activities that would attract cargo traffic to their respective ports.

The conference also made a number of recommendations that would improve the utilisation of ports lands in the Sub-region for efficient service delivery.

Meanwhile Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, the Minister of Transport, in an earlier remarks, urged member countries of PMAWCA to constantly work together and share ideas that would ultimately promote the Sub-region as a safe and welcoming destination for shippers.

He said the government of Ghana was poised to implement the First Port Rule Policy, which would enable Customs officials from landlocked nations to operate from the country’s ports.

He said government was not oblivious of the potential logistical challenges the policy would pose and would, therefore, welcome suggestions to deal with the several bilateral protocols relating to the arrangement.

The Minister mentioned issues in relation to the mandate of the Customs Authorities of the landlocked countries would start and end, what immunities they would enjoy while they were in the country and their legal jurisdiction.

Mr Asiamah said the arrangement would ensure a win-win situation for both Ghana and the destination countries, as well as enhance trade in the Sub-region.

The four-day event was held in Accra on the theme: Best Practices in the Management of Ports Lands, which brought together Chief Executive and Managing Directors of Ports within the West and Central African region.

The conference attracted experts and stakeholders in the maritime industry who deliberated on a number of challenges facing the sector, shared ideas and proposed solutions to ensure efficient port services.

The conference appointed Mr Tonan Fatondji Augustin of the Port of Cotonou, Benin, to act as Secretary-General of PMAWCA following the resignation of Mr Michael Achagwe Luguje to take new appointment as Acting Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority.

Mr Tonan Fatondji will hold the fort until fresh elections were held in May next year to elect a new person.

Lome Port Authority, Togo, was selected to host the Association’s 40th Council and Conference next year, which would be held on the theme: The Role of the State in the Port and Maritime Economy.

PMAWCA is an inter-regional economic organisation with members stretching from Mauritania, Cape Verde, Liberia, La Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea to Angola, including landlocked countries.

Source: Ghana News Agency

GHANA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE LAUNCHES AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAIN PROJECT

ACCRA– The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) has launched its Agricultural Value Chain Project aimed at addressing data constraints and the expected business connectivity needed to create better interfaces between industry players, performance matrices and the wider economy.

The project seeks to support the government’s industrial transformation agenda, which is also enjoying support from other stakeholders.

Notwithstanding the expressed support and commitment, it is the Chamber’s expectation that Government would continually engage the Chamber and other stakeholders to address the distress faced by industry with respect to the provision of relevant micro data,” the GNCCI chief executive officer, Mark Badu-Aboagye, said in a statement here Wednesday. Such micro data are critical in examining the revenue contributors to the wider economy.”

The GNCCI noted the government’s commitment in supporting the private sector to drive the industrial transformation of the Ghanaian economy through numerous interventions, saying that these initiatives tended to serve as a short-term approach to solving a systemic problem.

The statement said the Chamber was aware that many businesses, including those undertaking domestic production, were distressed. They are borrowing at very high interest rates and face unsustainable competition from cheap imports. The Chamber is also aware that the tax regime and the manner it is applied do not always support domestic industry, the statement added.

It said the inadequacy or non-availability of bottom-up data in identifying and addressing the inherent risks and bottlenecks along the value chains would undermine the industrial transformation agenda of the government.

In the opinion of the Chamber, a stimulus package to industry must encompass addressing the policy constraints on businesses. It must address questions around trade policy and the virtual takeover of the domestic markets by imports. It must address the prevailing high interest rates. It must recognise that policy matters more to industrial development than one-off projects, the statement said.

The Chamber urged the government to involve all stakeholders in the management of the stimulus package.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK