The government has been asked to take urgent steps to re-negotiate the ‘giveaway’ stability and development agreement signed with the gold mining companies to enable the nation obtain optimal benefits from its resources.
Mr. Richard Ellimah, Executive Director of the Centre for Social Impact Studies (Cesis), an NGO, said Ghana could not continue to be shortchanged.
The call comes amid growing public outcry against the decision by Goldfields Ghana Limited to retrench in excess of 2,000 workers.
Addressing a press conference in the gold mining town of Obuasi, he described as disappointing the bad faith showed by the mining companies after the government had rewarded them with generous incentive packages.
He cited the grant of more favorable royalty and tax rates – reduction of corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 32.5 per cent and royalty rate from a flat five per cent to a sliding scale of 3 – 5 per cent indexed to the price of gold.
Mr. Ellimah said the conduct of Goldfields was typical of multinational companies operating in the sub-region – paying scant or no regard to their own commitment and promises.
He drew a parallel between the proposed retrenchment of the mining workers and that carried out AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine, four years ago, and said there would be dire consequences for the local economy and individual livelihoods.
He saluted the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and its affiliate Ghana Mineworkers Union for the stiff resistance they were putting up and rallied every well-meaning Ghanaian and civil society to join the campaign to get the decision rescinded.