The Ghana Chamber of Mines says it is committed to paying dividends to Government in the form of gold bars rather than cash.
This is in response to a call made by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) that this will bring a lot more benefit to the State and also help address the phenomenon of mining firms defaulting in paying royalties to the State. The situation is said to have adversely affected government revenues and infrastructural development.
Campaign Coordinator of ISODEC, Dr. Steve Manteaw is urging Government to shift the paradigm.
For him, it would be prudent for Government “to calculate our carriage interest plus royalties and all other taxes and then constitute these as government take, and then take these in the form of gold and add value to them, in order to maximize benefits from its exports”.
Value-addition, he asserted, is the panacea to Ghana’s inability to derive the best from its gold.
He explained that “if you were to take royalties in kind, you can feed this in-kind gold into jewel making such that Government could be exporting jewelry which fetches more than exporting gold bars which fetches nothing.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Mines Sulemanu Koney indicated to Joy Business that the Chamber would be willing to pay royalties in gold bars.
Although the local economy stands to benefit from such an initiative, he said, the desired results would not be attained if structures are not put in place to ensure value is added to the gold that would be supplied to the state.
He cautioned Government against such a decision, saying that the jewelry and goldsmithing market in the country is virtually non-existent.
Mr. Koney stressed however that such a decision would only be of benefit to the state if Government took a decision to astronomically grow the local goldsmithing and jewelry industry.