Ghana needs a rethink of natural resource management contracts – Dr Bawumia

Accra: The Vice President and Flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, says Ghana needs a new paradigm in natural resource contracts to ensure the nation maximises the benefits of her natural resources. He said successive governments had often come under criticism for the type of agreements they entered into with external interests for the exploitation of Ghana's natural resources. In an address in Accra on Wednesday to outline his vision if he became the president of Ghana, Dr Bawumia provided measures, including value addition and Ghanaian ownership of the natural resources, to streamline the sector and ensure it brought Ghanaians the maximum benefits. 'As president, I will usher Ghana into a golden age for the maximisation of the benefits from our natural resources like gold, lithium, bauxite, and so on.' 'The key to doing this is value addition and Ghanaian ownership. We need a new paradigm in natural resource contracts,' the NPP Flagbearer said. Some of the key policies his govern ment intended to implement are formalised, regularised and regulated environmentally sustainable small-scale mining. 'About one million people are engaged in small-scale mining. Our goal would be to help grow small-scale mining companies into large-scale companies with capacity building and assisting them to access financing to acquire equipment.' 'We can create many millionaires in the small-scale mining industry if we support them,' he said. 'My government will support the Minerals Commission and key stakeholders to formalise the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector with the objective of ensuring that the activities of the entire value chain are sustainably and responsibly done so that most of the gold produced by this sector can be sold to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and be eligible to be part of the gold reserves of the Central Bank.' In line with this vision, Dr Bawumia said his government would license all miners doing responsible mining and that district mining committees, including chie fs, would provide initial temporary licenses to miners. 'As long as miners mine within the limits of their licenses, for example, no mining in the river or water bodies, there will no longer be any seizure or burning of excavators.' The event was on the theme: 'Ghana's Next Chapter: Selfless Leadership and Bold Solutions for the Future,' which enabled the NPP Flagbearer to outline his vision and direction for the nation. Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady, Wife of Vice President Hajia Samira Bawumia, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye, and Mrs Osei Frema-Opare, the Chief of Staff were in attendance. The others include the National Chairman of the NPP, Stephen Ayensu Ntim, Mr Justin Kodua Frempong, General Secretary of the Party, former presidential aspirants, ministers of State, members of Parliament, Party Executives, Council of Elders of the Party, and the diplomatic community. The Kofi Ohene Konadu Auditorium of the University of Profess ional Studies, Accra (UPSA) where the forum was held, was filled to capacity with enthusiastic party supporters and sympathizers having to find space outside the auditorium. Source: Ghana News Agency