Reviewed lithium deal could help us get better roads – NDC’s JJ Sukah

The Communication Officer for the opposition NDC in the Oforikrom Constituency in the Ashanti Region has backed advocates who have urged the government to renegotiate the agreement to mine lithium in the Mfantseman Municipality in the Central Region.

Jerry James Sukah, who is against the existing mining laws, argued on Dwaboase on TV XYZ that the country has not benefitted from the minerals royalties over the past several decades.

His comment follows a public debate over the controversial Ghana-Barari DV lithium agreement which has taken over media discussions in the past couple of weeks. The government has said the deal is transparent, fair and ultimate benefit to the Ghanaian people.

However, some experts and political analysts have condemned Minister for lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, over the agreement that is yet to be sent to parliament for ratification.

Urging the Akufo-Addo government to review the agreement and engage local communities and stakeholders before signing the deal, Sukah emphasized the need for mining towns to be elevated.

“We have been mining in this country for so many years but we have benefitted very little from the minerals and it is disheartening. Look at Obusai and other mining communities and you would realise that we need to change the laws governing the exploitation of of the country’s mineral resources,” he told host Prince Minkah.

To him, the NDC has backed experts’ call for the lithium agreement to be reviewed to give Ghana a deserving stake.

“look at how the roads at Obuasi and its environs are. We have not had anything meaningful over these years that we have been mining,” he stated. “We in the Ashanti Region will ensure that the right thing is done so the country gets its fair share of the resources to develop the the country. There are many bad roads in this country that can be fixed when this deal is reviewed to the benefit of the Ghanaian people.”

He said his constituency has many bad roads such that urban dwellers have to fix their vehicles frequently at their own cost yet the government doesn’t see the need to get a good deal from expatriates who show interest in the country’s mineral resources.

NDC’s Position

A press release signed by the National Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, has cast doubts on the deal’s transparency.

This lack of openness, the NDC says breeds suspicion and fuels concerns about potential backroom deals and hidden agendas.

” The NDC holds the view, that the green minerals of the country, should not be exploited based on the existing mining laws and policies, which are predominantly tailored for gold mining and have not benefited the nation over the years,” Sammy Gyamfi stated.

“We are of the firm opinion, that it is about time the existing colonial model of mining lease concession agreements, was reviewed. New models for the exploitation of our mineral resources such as Joint Ventures and Service Agreements, that provide for equitable benefit sharing, enhanced local participation and value addition, should be considered as part of the review of the laws and policies governing our extractive sector.”

The NDC Spokesman said “country urgently needs a reviewed mining regime, that provides for the sustainable funding and strengthening of the Ghana Geological Survey Authority, to engage in reconnaissance and prospecting, particularly in relation to green minerals. We believe that this, if supported by the Minerals Income and Investment Fund (MIIF) under the right policy framework, will enhance the bargaining power of the state in the exploitation of our mineral resources.”




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