Managers of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) say the fund has made significant strides in achieving the objectives for which it was established.
Chief Executive Officer of the Fund, Yaw Baah said plans are far advanced towards increasing local investments in the management of the country’s gold assets to maximize value.
The Minerals Income Investment Act, which was passed in 2018 to among other things monetise the country’s mineral resources for the government’s infrastructural development.
It is also to monetize the minerals’ income accruing to the country, develop and implement measures to reduce the budgetary exposure of Ghana to minerals income fluctuations.
“MIIF is on the path to achieving the objectives envisaged under the Act. Per this very Act, one of the objectives of the MIIF and going by the wise words of the President is that Ghana has reached a stage that there must be the need to encourage indigenous companies in this area”, Yaw Baah said at ‘Monetization of Minerals Royalties’ Forum held on Monday.
The public event was organized at the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana on Monday, May 3, 2021.
The MIIF CEO added that his outfit is positioning itself to change the public narrative by ensuring that Ghana’s mineral royalties are managed properly to the maximum benefit of the ordinary citizen.
“Ghana, we do well everywhere, but it appears all our gold is foreign-owned. We continue to sit on money because apart from the gold, we have other minerals of which we at MIIF are working to propel and push this to ensure that the nation achieves its objectives.”
Ghana’s non-monetized gold resources very problematic
Also present at the program were the Founder of Songhai Group, Hene Aku Kwapong, and the Director in charge of Banks, Investors, and Intermediaries at Standard Chartered Bank, Carl Odame-Gyenti.
Hene Aku Kwapong expressed fears Ghana may not able to raise future revenue from gold production if steps are not taken to monetize the mineral resource as a long-term venture.
He said although Ghana has overtaken countries such as South Africa in the production of gold, the West African country may not enjoy the full benefit mining companies from the Southern part of Africa are at the core of the mining business in Ghana with the proceeds being sent back to their home country.
The development he explains will leave Ghana with little to no gold value thereby putting the country in a rather sorry state at least in the next five decades if a special purpose vehicle is not established to monetize the natural resource.
“Ghana is now the leading producer of gold. We have passed South Africa and other African countries which is great. But 50 years from now my biggest concern is, if we do not take care we actually may not have the opportunity to even make money from gold, because others would have monetized it, and they would have had a lot of resources left-back in their country”, he said.
The US-based Ghanaian investor and former Vice-President of Deutchbank also courted support for the Agyapa Royalties Agreement stating that what needs to be done is the encouragement of citizens to have confidence in the monetization of the country’s mineral royalties.
“There are several opportunities in Agyapa. Agyapa is fine but how do we do it to generate trust in our own people so that they believe we are doing the right thing. There should be a full strategy to provide clarity It is critical that we come out with a plan, how much it will cost so when we begin the monetization we know how much we are going to get”, he advised.