The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has called for policy and legislative framework in the determination of resource nationalism and exploitation of such resource for development.
According to the Minister, a statutory framework on natural resources, known to both investors and states, will ensure that investors who come into Africa become aware of the fiscal framework of countries.
He pointed out that if the regulatory framework is well known, the rules do not get changed in the middle of an agreement, leading to conflict.
The Lands Minister made the call yesterday whilst speaking at a Mining Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on the theme “Resource Nationalism Challenge: How has the Global Pandemic Shaped Sovereign State Views on Resource Nationalism and Collaboration”.
Mr Jinapor argued that resource nationalism is at the heart of the mining industry, stressing that “how this phenomenon is dealt with remains very consequential”.
He said resource nationalism had not yet been given a very definitive definition by academics and mining exports, adding that at the level of policy making the phenomenon is considered in two ways.
The Minister further indicated that the consideration of outright exploration, seizures and state control interventions had become quite unfashionable, and given way to new reasoning.
“The sophisticated tools of local content, indigenization, tweaking of already established contracts and agreements and breach of contracts, and so on, which is also another mechanism for resource nationalism, has become common,” he said.
He stressed that the biggest issue facing Ghana is the ability to attract the needed capital investment and technology, as well as how to exploit these resource for the benefit of the citizens of the country.
Citing the Ghanaian mining industry, the Minister averred that the framework for the mining sector is certain and clear, and encouraged investors to take a decision to invest in Ghana.
“Investors can be certain they are investing in a democratic state where the rule of law prevails, and sanctity of contract is the norm. And so if we get into negotiations, and we cast the terms of our negotiation in a contract, you can rest assured that it will be respected,” he added.
He, however, disclosed that government had rolled out a programme and a vision that would result in a major paradigm shift in how the Ghanaian mining industry is regulated and operated, which is insistence on value addition.
This programme, he said, is determined to ensure that value is added to minerals mined in Ghana, like gold from exploration prospecting, mining to refinery to the downstream industries.
“All of these are matters that we’re planning, in the same vein it is for iron, steel and bauxite. By an Act of Parliament, we are insisting that within five years after the promulgation of the law, no raw bauxite can be exported out of Ghana,” he stressed.
He pointed out that value addition would ensure that Ghana retains a lot of the value internally for the betterment of the ordinary citizen.
“We are also putting in place special institutional arrangements such as the Mineral Development Fund, where we are dedicating 20% of our royalties for development in mining communities in Ghana, and the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), where we are seeking to collateralize and leverage royalties for national development. And in mining communities, we will also bring about capital to indigenize the mining community in our country,” he revealed.
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