The co-chair of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), Dr Steve Manteaw, has expressed concern over the country’s poor management of its mineral revenue.
Speaking to JoyNews on Monday, he said the economic hardship experienced by the country over a period of time was as a result of extracting resources without a national vision.
“We haven’t quite managed our mineral revenue very well. If you look at the mining sector, only about five per cent of the value of the industry is retained within the local economy and that is not too good, ” he said.
He said “the reason we are where we are is because, we have been extracting resources without having a national vision in terms of what role we expect mineral and petroleum resources to play in the national economy. ”
His comment comes on the back of a virtual national dialogue on the country’s extractive policy organised recently by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) and the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI).
The programme is set to influence government’s decision on its policy plan on the mining sector.
Dr Manteaw further indicated that an integrated mining sector and the introduction of a policy to refine gold locally would help curb the illegal export of raw materials.
This, he believed, would leave a lot of room for improvement in terms of policies and laws relevant to the sector.
Refining gold locally, according to him, would also help create jobs for Ghanaians and also generate revenue for the country.
“If we were minded to have an integrated mining sector in this country, we would have to actually formulate laws that prohibited the export of raw gold. And then what you do is that you will refine your gold locally, you add value to them and produce jewellery and export jewellery instead of raw gold,” he said.