The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has revealed that government is expediting the full spectrum of accounting for the country’s gold resources.
He made this known during the conference on ‘Moving beyond Aid –Revenue Mobilization G20- Compact With Africa (CWA)’ on Wednesday.
Dr Bawumia noted that, “we have now begun conversations about the process of making sure that every single bar of gold leaving our shore is properly weighed, tested, valued and accounted for.
While the process may not be as robust as we want, it is a positive step in the right direction and we are impressed with the collaboration between the Ghana Chamber of Mines and the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) in making sure we expedite the full spectrum of accounting for our gold resources.”
In Ghana the major mining firms have been assaying gold from their mines by themselves before export, even though the law empowers the PMMC to do so.
He is of the view that, “while we must be careful not to impute, it is simply not acceptable but a for a very long time an institution of state with powers to help in properly accounting for our mineral resources was not enabled or allowed to perform its job.
“This has to change,” the Vice President emphasized.
He noted that there are companies that have been mining in Ghana for years but declaring low profits and wondered why they continue mining if it is not profiting them.
“This cannot be right,” he said.
The transfer pricing practice on how to verify head office/management fees have been a major concern of erosion of tax bases and conduit of illicit financial flows by resource companies.
Furthermore, Dr Bawumia said, the improper accounting for extractive resources on the part of concession owners is a major source of revenue loss for Africa nations, with significant negative fiscal implications.
“No fiscal management system of mining and oil revenues can be robust without including measures aimed at properly accounting for the resources extracted.”
The Vice President revealed that, the various tax exemption regimes are being streamlined and analysed to make them more targeted and to reduce the abuse.
“We give a lot of exemptions to companies largely in the extractive sectors; but we have taken note of the scale and the magnitude of the tax exemptions granted and the effect on the tax base.”
By Joshua W. Amlanu