The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Golden Empire Legacy Limited, Dr.Mrs Joana Gyan Cudjoe has criticised the Akufo-Addo administration for allowing the Indian government to establish a gold refinery in Ghana with 80% shares.
The business mogul who has been trading in gold believes the government could have outsourced the project to local industry players to help sustain the economy that has suffered a post COVID-19 lockdown shocks.
Her disappointment comes on the back of a revelation by Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources,George Mireku Duker, that Ghana’s shares was 20%.
“By the end of November, we may commission the gold refinery. We were to commission it by the middle of November but from what they are telling me, they are almost 95% done,” Duker said in an interview with 3 FM’s Alfred Ocansey.
Although Duker indicated the percentage of ownership has time lines, Dr Gyan Cudjoe insists the deal could be a rip off.
In a statement, she said “I am disappointed to hear that the government of Ghana is contemplating signing an agreement with the Indian counterpart in a 20/80 share of equity.”
“We have sat here for foreign investors to come mine in our country and are taking all our gold out with a paltry 10% as our shares and we still haven’t learnt.”
She quizzed, “How much does it cost to set up a world class gold refinery?”
The refinery, according to the government, costs $25 million but Gyan Cudjoe believes there are local companies that contribute about 65% of gold produced in Ghana that could have been contacted to help establish the refinery.
“All these gold leaves the shores of this country with no form of value addition and on top of that some are also smuggled out,”she indicated.
She added, “We have been mining for over hundred years and the BoG recently was happy to inform the whole world that they have been able to purchase 280kg of Gold and we are talking about a country that is a leading producer of Gold and we satisfied.”
“We have the opportunity of putting up refinery which will enable us to add value and ensure we able to maximize the full potential of the value chain of our gold industry,” she argued.
She continued, “The unfortunate part is our willingness to dash out 80% of that to the Indians when we could easily have formed a consortium of local gold exporting companies like Golden Empire Lagacy Limited (GELL) to leverage their cash flows to raise the equity required.”
“This will ensure that returns stay in Ghana and also create the much needed jobs for the youth. Beyond the return on investment, we can issue certificate for the gold and store the refined gold in our banks as is being done in Switzerland.”
Dr Gyan Cudjoe also explained that the talk of diversifying the economy of the country and empowering locally owned companies by the government has been “all talk with no substance if this is the way we are going to do things.”
“There is no paradigm shift from the way we have been doing things and is about time patriots rise and speak to the save the soul of this country from spiralling down into an abyss,”she added
“The youth must rise up and speak against such unconscionable deals that continue to threaten the future of this country. The CSO’s must come together to stop this intellectual galamsey that is being perpetuated on this country through this botched deal.”
She concluded that “We have to change from this business as usual way of doing things that has crippled this economy especially on strategic areas of our economy particularly our natural resources.”