Economist, Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie has advocated possible amendments to Ghana’s production system in the mining industry if the country is to benefit fully from the resources in the sector.
It follows the increase in global prices of gold which is to benefit producers of the commodity.
As at the afternoon of Friday, January 10, 2020, an ounce of the precious metal, gold, was trading at 1,549 dollars.
A further check showed that the commodity had witnessed an accumulative increase in price of about 76 dollars per ounce over the last thirty days.
This translates into a positive change of about 5 percent.
A situation, Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie describes as a plus for a gold exporting country like Ghana.
“The surge in the prices of gold is good news but I think that going forward, we should be able to get enough revenue from the minerals. So, for instance in 2018, we got royalties of 1.2 billion cedis from oil alone. Meanwhile that from the other minerals was about 740 million cedis which is way below what we get from the oil alone. So, we need to negotiate and get more revenue so we can benefit from such increment in prices,” he remarked.
In Ghana, mining activities have been in existence for over a century now.
At least ten international companies have registered their operations in the industry now from which the state rakes in revenue through 5 percent royalties as well as 35 percent Corporate Income Taxes.
The Bank of Ghana’s summary of economic and financial data shows that as at October 2019, Ghana raked in 5.23 billion dollars from the export of gold.
But Dr. Sarkodie believes this could be increased when the state adopts possible reforms which will not inure to the detriment of mining companies.
“If it is beneficial, then we can do that. One thing that we must bear in mind is that we should not also put so much pressure on the mining companies other than that they will refuse to invest in Ghana. So, we have to tread cautiously on how to get the most from them without overburdening them,” he explained.
Dr. Sarkodie added, “I believe we have the Minerals Commission of Ghana and so many institutions in Ghana that manage our minerals and they can enter into some negotiation. So we can have something similar if it does not put too much pressure on the mining companies because we have to be careful that we don’t drive away our foreign investors.”