The issue of undervalued revenue generated from Ghana’s export of gold continues to be a challenge to the mining industry.
Government has announced some measures to block the leakages in the revenue generated from the export of gold.
Citi Business News has been speaking to some industry players to seek their perspectives on the effectiveness of the interventions in raking in the required revenue from gold exports.
It suggests that the government will among other things have to strengthen the institutions mandated to check the revenue streams to track down on possible instances of under declaration.
Gov’t admits under-declared gold export revenue
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at this year’s edition of the annual New Year school at the University of Ghana, lamented the loss of revenue through undervalued gold exports.
He assured that government will take steps to address the situation.
“What we are going to demand is a transparent account for all our natural resources that we are exporting; for the most part we are just told that we are exporting this amount of gold, how sure are we that that is the exact amount of gold that is being exported, we are going to insist on a transparent accounting for our natural resources.”
Dr Bawumia has also said that government is working on a law that will give some state agencies the power to check and inspect the total production of gold before it leaves the country.
His comments followed the disclosure of about 5 billion dollars worth of gold unaccounted for in the export of the commodity from Ghana to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Gold exporters demand more from regulators
However in a bid to proffer some solutions, the Treasurer of the Association of Gold Exporters, Dr. Abu Grant has called on the Minerals Commission to take steps to prevent recalcitrant Gold exporters from exploiting the Commission’s systems.
“The Minerals Commission needs to be steadfast and make sure the systems they’ve put in place are not abused. Everything that has to be done to prevent gold revenue losses has already been done. Every licensed gold exporter has at least two to three weeks to repatriate the proceeds after exporting gold. If you flout the repatriation rules and you want to export, you should face some difficulty”.
He, however, blames the previous board of Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) for its role in the loss of revenue from Gold exports in recent times.
“We know that through the PMMC, a lot of people have exported gold without repatriating back the proceeds. A lot of Indians back then were exporting a lot of gold through the PMMC without returning the proceeds. I definitely blame the previous management of PMMC. They created all the loopholes that people are taking advantage of,” he asserted.
Following the development, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu is not happy with the trend in the industry.
Like the Vice President, he says government will soon roll out an audit for all mining companies to ensure that the companies declare the accurate revenue.
“As a government, we have been short changed for a long time within the history of a country that is involved in mining; what the ministry in collaboration with government agencies seeks to do now is to introduce what we call an operational audit of mining firms and this is going to be across all mining companies that are going to work in this country”.
Mines Chamber declare support for probe
Director of External Affairs and Communications at the Ghana Chamber of Mines Ahmed Nantogmah has stated that mining companies will support the intention of the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to roll out the audit.
“Definitely I’m sure they will have modalities as to how they will have it done and when they will have it done and definitely as mining companies, I don’t think anybody will say no so we will wait for the Minister to send us the modalities and then we will take it from there.”