Ghana will soon introduce a new fiscal regime for the minerals sector to ensure that the country derives maximum benefit from the extractives sector, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has announced.
The new regime is part of what the Vice President describes as paradigm shift from raw mineral exports to value addition and utilisation of minerals for holistic national development.
“We have not really benefited from the extraction of our natural resources, and it is for this reason that we need especially in the area of our minerals, to bring a new paradigm, a new thinking into how as a country we can benefit more from our mineral resources,” the Vice President noted.
He added, “There are many mines that are operating and for years, they tell us they have not made any profit so they cannot pay any dividend to government. But they keep mining and mining. How can you as a business continue to be in existence for so long and claim you are not making profit and so you cannot pay. There are some mines that are paying, but many are not paying sufficiently, relative to how much they are taking out of our country.”
Dr. Bawumia said this when he addressed the chiefs and people of Essikado Traditional Area in the Western Region of Ghana, during a festival called Kuntum Festival.
Explaining further, Dr. Bawumia indicated that the new fiscal regime will be similar to the one prevailing in the oil and gas sector where taxes are calculated based on the volume of minerals extracted and not profits.
“We have a regime that we are implementing for the oil sector, and we want to implement the same regime for the mining sector. So when you take your gold out of the soil, if you take a 1000 tonnes, you will have to pay us our share out of that. We will not wait for you to go and say you have not made any profit out of the 1000 so you will not pay us anything. You will have to pay us something commensurate to what you have taken out,” he warned.
“We want foreign investment, there is no doubt about that. Our lawyers will say we have given them an invitation to treat. But that invitation to treat must not be an invitation to cheat. We want partnerships, and that is why we want a new regime in the mining sector, so that everyone will pay their share,” Dr. Bawumia noted.