Experts at a public forum on monetization of minerals royalties have concluded that Ghana should boldly monetize its minerals incomes if it intends to make the most benefits from the sector.
Speakers at the Forum held on Monday including Hene Aku Kwapong (Founder of the Songhai Group) Kwabena Ata Nuamah Mensah (Resource Governance Professional) and Carl Odame-Gyenti (Banking and Finance Professional) argued that countries like South Africa and Saudi Arabia, which have seen quick investments in infrastructure have done so because of among other things the monetization of their resource incomes.
The forum organized by the Minerals Income Investment fund provided a platform for the banking experts, Minerals governance experts, academics and students to explore the concept and best practices of monetizing of minerals royalties.
Dr Carl Odame-Gyenti called for a review of all existing gold mining agreements to enable the country maximise the benefits of monetising its mineral royalties.
According to him, a restructuring of the gold mining activities in the country would place the country on a firmer footing to enable it take advantage of the huge cash flow within the gold royalty space.
“A lot is at stake for this country in our gold royalties’ management and we need to discuss and find a best fit solution to enable us take advantage of huge revenues in that space,” he said.
Dr Odame-Gyenti said even though gold royalty business was not new in the world it was a new area for Ghana and in venturing into it would require that all the necessary conditions were satisfied.
“The mineral royalties’ business is about $72billion globally but it is a whole new area for us and there is the need to take advantage of this and invest in there,” he said.
Dr Odame-Gyenti said there were about 23 gold mining companies in the country, unfortunately, all of them were owned by foreigners, stressing that the only way to change the situation was through government investing in the sector and monetising our mineral royalties is the only way government can raise the needed investment.
On his part, the founder of the Songhai Group, Hene Aku Kwapong said the time had come for Ghana to move away from rent collection and become a real player in the mineral extractive industry.
He said moving away from rent collection would require that that, the country looked at the option of monetising it mineral royalties.
However, he noted that, for the country to derive the full benefits of the goals of monetisation, there must be a plan that establishes a baseline to identify the gap between where the country was now and where it desired to be.
This he said would help the country know exactly what funding would be required.
The Chief Executive Officer of the MIIF in his closing remarks pledged that, the fund would incorporate all the concerns expressed to ensure that the best deal was secured for the country.
He said it was important for Ghanaians to appreciate the fact that monetising the country’s mineral royalties was novel and with all novelties, this one to would come with its attendant misconceptions.
Mr Baah pledged to deepen consultations to ensure that the special purpose vehicle for monetising the country’s mineral royalties, Agyapa achieved its goals for the benefit of all.